Why the Birthers Lost

Judge Michael Malihi has ruled against the birther challenge to Barack Obama’s appearance on electoral ballots in the State of Georgia.

In fact, Orly Taitz and the birthers lost in a contest against an empty table. Neither President Obama or his lawyer actually showed up, and they still lost.

It doesn’t get much worse than that, folks. And that fact should serve as an indication of the complete hopelessness of the birther position.

Part of Judge Malihi’s rationale (particularly in regard to the testimony by Doug Vogt and others that Mr. Obama’s birth certificate is a “forgery”) is that not one of the witnesses that Dr. Taitz presented was a qualified expert.

I must confess that I was a bit surprised when Doug Vogt was even allowed to appear and testify. I had done some reading about the qualifications for court-recognized experts, and had concluded that none of the folks who’ve weighed in heavily on the birth certificate — myself included — were likely to qualify. In fact, I said as much a week or two ago in an email to Paul Irey.

So… Doug Vogt was allowed to take the stand and testify, but his testimony didn’t really count for anything. Which is just as well, since none of his claims are valid anyway.

Vogt’s disqualification as an “expert” witness, though, isn’t exactly a cause of the birther loss in Georgia. It’s a symptom.

The cause is the simple fact that the facts aren’t with them.

If the facts were on the birthers’ side, then they would be able to attract a qualified expert witness.

That, ultimately, is why the birthers lost: They’re simply wrong.

And they’re wrong not just about their claims to have good evidence of forgery. They’re wrong about the natural born citizen arguments as well.

I won’t attempt a full explanation right now, but the essentials of the NBC situation are:

* Minor v. Happersett did not, as Leo Donofrio and Mario Apuzzo allege, establish a binding precedent for who is a natural born citizen. It’s true that I am not a lawyer. However, this conclusion is clear enough that you really don’t have to be a lawyer to understand it. A careful reading of the case — relying on plain English — is almost all that’s necessary.

* United States v. Wong Kim Ark, however, did. I personally am fully convinced of that now. And the precedent that it established was a direct ruling against the birthers’ claims that two citizen parents are required to make a natural born citizen.

At some point I may more fully explain why Wong Kim Ark is so fatal to the birthers’ two-citizen-parents argument.

For now, it’s enough to note that the birthers lost today for the simple reason that — once you really understand the deficiencies of their forgery and two-citizen-parent claims — they never had a decent case to start with.

[Update: I’ve ended up explaining — to a pretty fair degree — the failure of the two-citizen-parent claims in the comments — read on. And to make it convenient, I’ve created a special marker for the posts that are most relevant to the core of the false “legal” arguments.

Just follow the orange “explanation trail!”

See also my more recent post, An Open Letter to Mario Apuzzo. And stay tuned — although the evidence presented is enough in itself to conclude that two-citizen-parents-required claims are without merit, there are even more clear, undeniable fact that show the birther legal position is both incorrect and hopelessly doomed to fail.]

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80 Responses to Why the Birthers Lost

  1. Paul Smith says:

    It’s a blow to be sure but the battle has only been joined as appeals are in progress as we speak. While we wait, here is why the judge got it wrong and why Ark is not the panacea you seek:

    The Dirty “little” Secret Of The Natural Born Citizen Clause Revealed

    • John Woodman says:

      I’m not “seeking a panacea,” Paul. That seems to be the practice of many birthers, who are willing to believe anyone who will tell them — on whatever excuse — that Mr. Obama is not eligible to be President.

      I was thinking about this the other day. For any intelligent birther, I ought to serve as a canary in the coal mine. Here I am, a lifelong conservative who went into this frankly despising Mr. Obama and his Presidency, convinced he was bankrupting the country and driving us into ruin.

      If you can’t get your arguments past me, that ought to tell you something. It ought to tell you that the arguments themselves are worthless. I would have willingly believed that Mr. Obama was ineligible, just from the point of view of political preference. As it is, I have found no good evidence that he is. And this is after investigating — as far as I can tell — every significant birther claim ever made.

      For many birthers, though, it doesn’t matter how much of Mr. Donofrio’s stuff, or how much of Mr. Apuzzo’s stuff, is shown to be complete nonsense. There are no facts that will dissuade the birther True Believer from his belief in birtherism.

      And I’ve already seen the aforementioned article by Mr. Donofrio. It’s in keeping with his practice of resorting to legal arguments so arcane and obscure as to require a week to figure out what he’s saying. It’s hard to argue against an incomprehensible argument. So he uses these to impress his audience (who after all are gullible and eagerly willing to believe) and to justify his claims that Minor v. Happersett supposedly says what it clearly does not say, and that US. v. Wong Kim Ark supposedly doesn’t say what it clearly does say.

      This is all from the same guy who has confessed to taking magic mushrooms and Ecstasy, to having had a failed law career, and to previously claiming to be the “Paraclete” (or the Holy Spirit of God on Earth).

      Citing Donofrio himself:

      “I graduated law school in June 1990 and took a job at a law firm in New Jersey. I moved home with my parents, bought a f***ing Saab convertible ( this was very important to me at the time, what an asshole) and began my career. I found a very cool club to go to in New Brunswick called The Melody Bar. A guy by the name of Mat Pinfield was the DJ and he had a profound influence on me. I began taking magic mushrooms and going to the Melody. Mat was playing all Manchester stuff every Friday night and the music was incredible but the Roses were the best. Listening to them on Mushrooms put me in LaLa land and I’ve been there ever since….once I heard them on Ecstasy I was looking down on Heaven which was far below. I don’t use Ecstasy anymore, I get higher without it, but it was an experience I wouldn’t trade.”

      [Editorial note: I have edited Mr. Donofrio’s description of his Saab convertible. I didn’t know the Holy Spirit routinely used this kind of language, but apparently I was wrong on that point.]

      And again:

      “I am the author of internet cult phenomenon “ONELOVESTORY”, written under the alias BURNWEED. In 1994 I was at a low point in my life, a failed law career led to me being a singer in a failed rock band inspired by the 89/90 Manchester Rock/Rave explosion. In 1994 my band broke up and I was in a bad way … … In 1998 I realized I was The Paraclete and that my purpose was to prophecy the return of the Messiah. The angels led me to one ALLAN(Reni)WREN, reclusive drummer of The Stone Roses…”

      “I am not Lee D’onofrio or Burnweed. Those are names of the body I have used as a spacesuit to appear here before you on planet Earth. My real name is The Paraclete. And Reni IS The Messiah. The Paraclete aka The Spirit of Truth, aka The Holy Spirit is the third person of Trinity. As Jesus stated in the Gospel of John, he has sent me to condemn Satan and glorify the Messiah.”

      Citing Donofrio himself, again:

      “Oh yeah, as an artist I once wrote a journal called Onelovestory where I claimed the drummer from my favorite rock and roll band was the Messiah and that I was the Paraclete (aka the Holy Ghost). That was a conceptual work of performance art. Just Google it and I promise you will have a new opinion of me. If some people think it was real, let them believe it. That was the whole point — to mix up reality with fantasy and never let the audience know if you were taking the piss, or losing your mind. Bwahahaha…

      It frankly takes a good deal of desperation to believe someone like Mr. Donofrio. But birthers have a pattern of being willing to believe anyone — anyone — who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear.

  2. John says:

    WKA Did not spell out the definition of what it means to be a Natural Born Citizen. The Minor Court did. In fact, in both the Ankeny and Mahili decision, both courts acknowledge this incredible fact; That WKA did not declare WKA a Natural Born Citizen. This is a fundamental point that destroys any notion that the WKA court gave a definition of NBC. Both Ankeny and Mahili dismissed it as being of no value. They probably did this because both Mahili and Ankeny know that Obama is not an NBC but lack to guts and courage to say so.

    • John Woodman says:

      Sorry, but no.

      Many people have demonstrated the logical nonsense of the claim that Minor v. Happersett — a case on voting rights — established a binding precedent regarding the definition of “natural born citizen” for the purposes of Presidential eligibility.

      You’re not going to understand this, because you’ve been immersed in birther propaganda, and — if you’re typical of most birthers — you desperately want to believe it, and there are no facts that will convince you otherwise.

      You also won’t understand it because I’m going to give you the brief version. I simply don’t have time to go into the long version right now.

      The statement in Minor v. Happersett is dicta. It was a remark made in passing, which did not have direct bearing on the outcome of the case under consideration — as all parties had already agreed that Virginia Minor was a citizen of the United States. That being the case, it could not possibly have been anything other than dicta. And since it was dicta, it could not possibly establish a binding precedent as to the definition of natural born citizen — even if it in fact gave such a definition.

      But the fact is, it doesn’t.

      A statement that people born in the US of two citizen parents are without a doubt natural born citizens is not a definition, and it’s not a statement that people born outside of the United States of two citizen parents, or people born on US soil of aliens domiciled in the country, are not natural born citizens.

      Not saying someone is a natural born citizen is not the same thing as saying that that person is not a natural born citizen.

      If you don’t understand that, then you don’t understand basic English, and you don’t understand basic logic. But anyone who is not already married to the proposition that Mr. Obama absolutely has to be ineligible will “get” it.

      As to the ruling in Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court found not only that Wong Kim Ark was a citizen — they also found — “irresistibly” — that a child in Wong Kim Ark’s situation was “natural born” — and yes, they used the exact words “natural born” to describe any child in Wong Kim Ark’s situation — born on US soil of two foreigner parents, domiciled here, who most emphatically were not US citizens.

      If Wong Kim Ark was “natural born,” and a “citizen,” then that makes him a natural born citizen — fundamental English again.

      You may not recognize or accept that fact, but again, anyone in America not already permanently wedded to the idea that Mr. Obama must at all costs be ineligible, will. That includes conservatives such as myself who have no truck with mangling the Constitution and our laws and Supreme Court decisions for the sake of shortsighted political machinations today.

      If you want to oppose Mr. Obama, by all means do. I oppose him myself. But oppose him for a valid reason, such as his failure to properly manage the financial affairs of this country, or for ramming Obamacare down our throats, or for his administration’s latest outrage of forcing Catholic hospitals to violate their consciences and freedom of religion by ordering them to provide abortion coverage to all of their employees.

      Neither the birth certificate nor the twisting of our laws and Supreme Court decisions to claim that two citizen parents are required to make a natural born citizen are valid reasons.

      And that’s not to say that there isn’t some argument that such a requirement would be a good idea. The problem is, the Vattel argument was made 114 years ago — and resoundingly rejected by the US Supreme Court. What are you doing to do? Just ignore the Supreme Court because they didn’t rule the way you wanted? This is the rule of law set up by our Founding Fathers. I’m not prepared to attempt to overthrow that.

      Vattel was 30th in a long list of writers quoted by the Founding Fathers. He was an influence, but nowhere near the top 10. Blackstone was third most cited by the Founding Fathers, and his Commentaries on the English common law was the foundational textbook for our nation’s first law school.

      For more commentary — by me — on the fact that the US Supreme Court found Wong Kim Ark to be not just a citizen — but a natural born one — you can have a listen to last night’s Reality Check Radio. Start around minute 119, up through around 127.

      That finding that Wong Kim Ark was natural born, by the way, was stated by the Court as a “conclusion” that they were “irresistibly” led to. And it figured directly into their finding that Wong Kim Ark was a citizen.

      I’d most definitely call that a “binding precedent.”

    • John Woodman says:

      Oh, and as far as Ankeny “acknowledging” that the Court did not declare WKA a “natural born citizen,” that’s not what they said.

      They said, “We note the fact that the Court in Wong Kim Ark did not actually pronounce the plaintiff a ‘natural born Citizen’ using the Constitution’s Article II language is immaterial.”

      The Supreme Court didn’t give us the whole phrase all in one place — but they gave us all of the pieces. They declared a child in the situation of Wong Kim Ark to be “natural born,” within the context of United States law. They declared Wong Kim Ark to be a citizen. And they even discussed the implications for Presidential eligibility, showing they were well aware of the issue.

      We should also note this quote from the same Ankeny decision:

      “Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are ‘natural born Citizens’ for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.”

  3. Paul Smith says:

    I’m not “seeking a panacea,” Paul.
    I wasn’t talking to you, John.

    how much of Mr. Donofrio’s stuff, or how much of Mr. Apuzzo’s stuff, is shown to be complete nonsense.
    You haven’t done so nor has anyone else.

    And I’ve already seen the aforementioned article by Mr. Donofrio.
    Really? And then you begin talking about a totally different and unrelated article. Not real intelligent, John. Try reading the article.

    I listened to the debate on the radio – you were owned. You lost big time. I was almost embarrassed for you – but not quite. And that was on a subject you purport to know something about. Sad. Got to give you credit though. It takes real cahones to show your face in public after a beat down like that.

    • John Woodman says:

      “I wasn’t talking to you, John.”

      Clearly you were, since your reply was directly to the article I posted. And you can’t have been talking to anybody else — unless you were talking to yourself — because your comment was the very first comment posted.

      This is in fact a great illustration of the quality of birther discourse. You’re even incorrect on as basic a fact as that you were replying to me — when you were the person who did the replying!

      As for the rest of it — you’re perfectly free to reject reason and claim that nobody has debunked Donofrio’s nonsense. You’re perfectly free to follow the mushroom-eating “Paraclete” right over the cliff if you wish. But you need to understand that his version of the law will never prevail — cannot possibly prevail — because what Donofrio claims is simply not what the law says. And while it may not be evident to you, that fact is evident to any reasonably honest person who carefully reads the cases.

      Even honest conservatives.

      If there were anything to the nonsense claims of Donofrio, don’t you think Mark Levin — who is a Constitutional scholar and an extremely enthusiastic conservative who does not hesitate at any time to rip into any Democrat or liberal on valid grounds — would fail to latch onto the claim?

      You’re also free to kid yourself about the outcome of the debate. The birther “experts” showed convincingly that the only real thing they had in their arsenal was tactics — including distraction, ridicule, and shouting down an opponent. Corsi said he would read the portion of Bennett’s article that stated birth certificates were numbered immediately upon their receipt into the registrar’s office. He never did. Do you know why? Because it was, as I stated, a completely false claim.

      On a factual basis, the birther “experts'” claims have been shown to be thoroughly worthless, time after time after time. See, for example, my earlier post on Laurie Roth in which I explained (very briefly) why Doug Vogt was wrong on every single point.

      Why does this endlessly repeated pattern of birther “expert” failure seem to mean absolutely nothing with birthers such as yourself? The answer is simple, and obvious: There’s no evidence that will convince you. Ever. Your mind is made up. Why confuse you with facts? You are committed to a particular outcome, no matter what the facts say.

      Again, you’re free to believe whatever you want. But you should understand that people who are intelligent, honest and take the time to really honestly research the facts are not going to agree with you. And for this reason, birtherism is doomed. Regardless of whether some continue to believe it — as some continue to this day to believe that Osama bin Laden was an innocent scapegoat and the US government was really behind 9/11 — birtherism is a dead end. And the birthers, who believe their theories against all the facts, will ultimately have just about as much impact as the 9/11 Truthers, who believed their theories against all the facts. Which is to say, pretty much no impact at all. I’m really sorry to have to put it to you that way, as I know it’s disappointing. But there it is.

  4. Paul Smith says:

    You believe what you like. I was responding to your ‘article’ for poor souls who might visit and read your crap – not to you.

    I read your article and was impressed with your logic when you discussed the COLBs. You didn’t convince me but your arguments at least made sense. Now you’ve branched out into the legal aspects of the case, areas in which you’re clearly not familiar nor an expert. I have no doubt that your read the article to which I directed you but you’ve got no response, no legal avenue by which to respond.

    You’ve given away your hand; you’re the worst kind of Obot, John. Most Obots at least have the decency to admit that they’re pro-Obama but not you, no, you pretend to be a conservative ‘just out for the truth’ — bullshit. Same kind of crap you spouted during the debate. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now.

    Judges like Malihi may continue to get pressured, financially/physically/etc., to find a loophole or to fail to look at the case on its merits but the law is on our side and eventually the story is going to play out. I can only pray that it happens before the elections.

    Again, you failed to address the very simple and very dramatic argument made by Donofrio. Can’t say I’m surprised since you can’t refute the simple logic of his argument.

    Again, I encourage anyone reading this ‘discussion’ to simply read the article I mentioned above. It isn’t difficult to read or understand and it will open your eyes to the simple truth – ‘citizen’ and ‘natural born citizen’ are different and have different legal meanings. Here’s the link:

    The Dirty “little” Secret Of The Natural Born Citizen Clause Revealed

    • John Woodman says:

      Now you’ve branched out into the legal aspects of the case, areas in which you’re clearly not familiar nor an expert.

      I’ve stated clearly that I am not a lawyer. At the same time, it doesn’t take a lawyer to understand basic logic.

      The statement:

      “There is no doubt that someone who has A PLUS B can be a member of this club.”

      IS NOT a statement that

      “Nobody who only has A can be a member of this club.”

      That’s elementary logic, and Donofrio goes to all kinds of peripheral garbage to try and deny it.

      Here’s some more elementary logic:

      “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

      This is the very passage in Minor v. Happersett that Donofrio and his groupies quote to justify their nonsense. They leave off or explain away the following comment that specifically says that the Court in Minor was not going to address the status of children born on US soil to foreigners domiciled here, and claim, nonsensically, that the foregoing passage purposefully and bindingly excludes such children from natural born citizenship.

      The first thing to note is that the Court, even in this passage, has reference to the common law, but does not mention Vattel.

      Apuzzo tries to deal with this by making the claim that the Court was referring in this phrase to American common law, not English common law.

      Never mind the fact that at the time the Founding Fathers established the country, there really was not and could not have been very much at all in the way of ‘American common law’ separate from the common law of the country that all of the Colonies were a part of — England.

      Never mind the fact, either, that Blackstone’s treatise on English common law was the fundamental text of the law school at William & Mary — our nation’s first law school. Never mind the fact that he was quoted by the Founding Fathers 15.8 times more frequently than Vattel.

      Never mind the fact that when people used the phrase “the common law,” it was NOT understood to mean “American common law.” It was generally understood to mean the English common law that had been handed down for centuries. And neither Apuzzo nor anybody else has ever produced any evidence at all that any supposed recognized body of American common law even existed — let alone that anybody EVER used the phrase “the common law” to mean “American common law” as distinct from the English common law.

      Some more elementary logic:

      “These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. “

      The first thing to note here is that the Court made absolutely no distinction in this sentence between “natives” and “natural born citizens.”

      And yet Donofrio claims there’s this huge difference — that just being a “native” doesn’t make you a natural born citizen.

      Yet the Court made no distinction at all between the two. Perhaps Leo can explain that? Perhaps you can explain it?

      The second thing to note is that the Court recognized two, and ONLY TWO categories of people. One was “natives or natural-born citizens.” The other was “aliens or foreigners.”

      There was not, and never had been, any fictional third category of native-born citizens who were not natural-born. Such a third category appears NOWHERE — not in Minor v. Happersett. Not in US v. Wong Kim Ark. Not in any other case in the entire history of jurisprudence that anybody has ever produced.

      [Note: Having said all that, there does appear to exist natural born citizens who are not also “native born.” These are those persons born US citizens because of their birth to US citizens abroad. These were an exception whose recognition as “natural born citizens” was provided for by our very first Congress. And everything I have read on the subject indicates to me that such persons are also, to this day, eligible to run for President.]

      Given the lengths to which Leo Donofrio has gone to “prove” his point, and given his stunning legal brilliance, surely if ANY case or statement establishing the existence of a “native-born citizen” who was not a “natural-born citizen” existed anywhere, Leo would have produced it by now. Wouldn’t he?

      Here’s some more elementary logic:

      From Webster’s 1828 dictionary:

      native, a: 1. Produced by nature; original; born with the being; natural; not acquired; as native genius; native affections; a native talent or disposition; native cheerfulness; native simplicity.

      2. Produced by nature; not factitious or artificial; as native ore; native color.

      3. Conferred by birth; as native rights and privileges.

      4. Pertaining to the place of birth; as native soil; native country; native graves.

      5. Original; that of which any thing is made; as mans native dust.

      6. Born with; congenial.

      Every single definition of “native” from the authoritative dictionary of the early 1800s gives the word “native” the sense of “natural” or “original” or “born with.” Every single definition.

      We could go on through the definitions of a bunch of similar and related words, and we would find much the same. I’ve read all of the relevant definitions, and there is nothing in Webster’s 1828 dictionary to contradict the above statements that “native” carried a meaning of “natural” or “at birth.”

      If there had been any real distinction between a “native-born” citizen and a “natural-born” one, surely someone would have clarified the distinction. But no. Apparently, EVERYBODY understood that the terms meant essentially the same thing.

      Here’s another thing to note: The DISSENT in Wong Kim Ark recognized the implications of the majority’s ruling:

      “I submit that it is unreasonable to conclude that ‘natural-born citizen’ applied to everybody born within the geographical tract known as the United States, irrespective of circumstances, and that the children of foreigners, happening to be born to them while passing through the country, whether of royal parentage or not, or whether of the Mongolian, Malay or other race, were eligible to the Presidency, while children of our citizens, born abroad, were not.”

      That was the understanding of the dissent: That the majority’s ruling would make Wong Kim Ark, a member of the despised Chinese race, eligible to the Presidency.

      It was also one of the complaints of the US government, who was making the case against Wong Kim Ark.

      If that wasn’t the implication of the ruling, then why on earth would the majority not reassure the losers that their ruling wouldn’t make Wong Kim Ark and every other ethnic Chinese person born in American eligible to become President?

      Here’s some more elementary logic:

      1. The Court found in US v. Wong Kim Ark that a child in Wong Kim Ark’s situation was “natural born.” They were led “irresistibly” to this “CONCLUSION.”

      But first, they were led IRRESISTIBLY to THIS CONCLUSION:

      “the Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes.

      “The Amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born, within the territory of the United States, of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States. Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States.

      Now let’s get to the part that Donofrio ignores:

      His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case, 7 Rep. 6a, ‘strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject;”

      So the Court took the words of Lord Coke and DIRECTLY APPLIED THEM TO OUR SITUATION IN THE UNITED STATES, EXPLICITLY USING THE TERMS “NATURAL” AND “NATURAL BORN” to describe the child born on US soil of alien parents who were “domiciled” or “resident” here in the United States.

      There’s no way around this. The Court in Wong Kim Ark FOUND that WKA was “NATURAL” and “NATURAL BORN.” It’s game over for Leo Donofrio.

      Against this Donofrio offers the pathetic article which you have referenced, along with similar excuses for the way in which he has twisted the meaning of the cases and misled gullible and willing followers such as yourself.

      The great fallacy in the article that you’ve named is that the Court only ever recognized two kinds of citizenship. There was only ever natural born citizenship, on the one hand, and citizenship of someone who was born a foreigner but who acquired their citizenship later, by naturalization.

      You said:

      “I have no doubt that your read the article to which I directed you but you’ve got no response, no legal avenue by which to respond.”

      There’s my response. There were only ever those two kinds of citizenship. Can Donofrio produce ONE SINGLE EXAMPLE of any statement in which there was ever recognized the third kind of citizenship he claims? HE NEVER HAS AND CAN NOT.

      “You’ve given away your hand; you’re the worst kind of Obot, John. Most Obots at least have the decency to admit that they’re pro-Obama but not you, no, you pretend to be a conservative ‘just out for the truth’ — bullshit.”

      Why should I lie and state that I am for Mr. Obama, when I am not? And by the way — who the hell are you to tell me what I do and do not believe, and to come on here and falsely accuse me of being both a liar and a hypocrite?

      Let’s go one further. I’ll bet you $50,000 right here and now that I can produce credible and known conservatives from my local community who can and will testify to my conservative credentials. And if you’ve got more money than that, I’m willing to go higher. I can produce a conservative Republican state representative and a conservative Republican state Senator who personally know me — one of whom I campaigned for. Let’s draw up a binding legal agreement and make the bet. Let’s put your money where your mouth is.

      You jerk.

      While you’re at it, I’m sure you’ll also want to convincingly refute the points I made above. Maybe you can get Leo to help you.

      • William McPherson says:

        The logic is as follows:
        There are four categories of (Born) Citizens, since there are two factors with two outcomes each. First factor- Are your parents citizens? Second factor- were you born on U.S. soil?
        Group A – born on U.S. soil to citizen parents (yes,yes)
        Group B -born on U.S. soil to foreign parents (yes,no)
        Group C – born off U.S. soil to citizen parents (no,yes)
        Group D – N/A ( not a born citizen )(no,no)
        So 3 groups remain, and Minor v. Happersett clearly defines all three: natural, alien, and foreign.
        Somehow, you come to the conclusion only two groups remain. Alien and foreign are not the same.
        “These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”
        Logic 101 states: These were A not B or C. Your non-logical conclusion states: These were A not B or B. Why do you assume redundancy? In the logical world, B or B , is silly. The use of ‘or’ does not make aliens and foreigners the same, but declares they are not the same. There are natural-born, foreign-born, and alien-born citizens.

        • John Woodman says:

          The Court distinguished between two categories of people, and based their discussion on that. “Native or natural-born citizens” were one group. “Aliens or foreigners” was the other group.

          And that was how they treated them.

          There are two possible theories. One is that the terms mentioned in each group mean essentially the same thing. The other is that they mean something different.

          You maintain that an “alien” is different from a “foreigner.” The obvious question is: If they are different, in what way are they different? And what would be the importance of any such distinction — especially since the Court treated them as if they were the same?

          • William McPherson says:

            Why would one need to distinguish natural born citizens from aliens and foreigners?
            To me it comes down to the word ‘natural’. A polar bear born in hawaii is not a tropical bear because it was born in Hawaii. It is a polar bear, naturally. If two Cajuns wanted to bear an Asian, can they buy a round-trip ticket to Asia for the weekend of their child’s birth? No, nature cares who the parents are and not the geography of the birthplace. President Obama is naturally a Kenyan by way of his father.

            • John Woodman says:

              “To me it comes down to the word ‘natural’.”

              And that, sir, is part of the appeal of the Vattel birther argument — and it is exactly and precisely wrong.

              The word “natural” carries with it an intuitive understanding. But it also carries a historical and legal meaning — a meaning that is fully justified by the term’s history, and one that was well understood by the Founding Fathers.

              And that meaning, based on everything I have read so far, was not the meaning that the Vattel birthers claim.

              There is more to be said about this. Follow the blog, because I will likely be commenting more on this issue.

        • William McPherson says:

          Native citizens are ‘born with'(def. #6) the country. This would include citizens at the time of adoption of constitution. The first 9 presidents were native born. John Tyler was the first natural born president.

          • John Woodman says:

            I’m afraid I would have to disagree. The first several Presidents were not “native born” in the United States of America, because there was no United States of America when they were born.

            And Martin van Buren, our 8th President, was born in 1782 in the State of New York. Although prior to the signing of the Treaty that ended the Revolutionary War, this was after the Declaration of Independence — which American law considered to be the birth date of the United States.

            This would make Martin van Buren (8) our first native- (and natural-)born President, rather than John Tyler (10).

            Some people claim that the United States didn’t really exist until the war ended. And there’s definitely a point to that. But whereas British law recognized the United States from the date of the Treaty of Paris, US law recognized the United States — and counted citizenship — from the date of the Declaration.

            And no, I don’t have the reference handy for that, but it’s in one of the court cases. I’ve read it within the last few days.

            • Slartibartfast says:

              Sorry, John, but I’m going to have to disagree with you. The first natural born President of the United States was George Washington and all of his successors have been natural born as well. The grandfather clause was never used. President Washington was a natural born subject of the British crown and the colony of Virginia and, as of the Declaration of Independence, became a natural born citizen of the State of Virginia and the United States. If this wasn’t true, then the first draft of the eligibility clause (without the grandfather clause) would have made everyone ineligible–clearly not the Founder’s intent.

            • William McPherson says:

              Mr. Woodman, I have a question concerning pdf birth certificate I have never seen answered. Possibly, it hasn’t been asked. The other pdf’s provided by the White House website(might just be one pdf) containing the correspondence letters, were they processed the same way as the birth certificate pdf? If not, how are they different? It would make sense to me that both pdf’s would be similarly processed and contain the same anomolies, but they don’t. Was the correspondence letter pdf optimized? Anyway, I know this wouldn’t prove anything, but it’s a circumstance worth a look. If this should be asked elsewhere please direct me , thanks for your time.

            • John Woodman says:


              I’ve checked Mr. Madison’s notes from August 7 (the day after a draft was presented in which there was no citizenship clause at all) to September 4, when the suggested text was,

              “No person except a natural born citizen or a Citizen of the U. S. at the time of the adoption of this Constitution shall be eligible to the office of President; nor shall any person be elected to that office, who shall be under the age of thirty five years, and who has not been in the whole, at least fourteen years a resident within the U. S.”

              Do you have some specific information of an intermediate draft which included the “natural born citizen” phrase but did not include the “or a Citizen of the U. S. at the time of the adoption of this Constitution” phrase?

            • Slartibartfast says:

              I don’t have a reference (I may be thinking of the original letter from John Jay), but I recall learning about the grandfather clause being instituted for people in the situation of Alexander Hamilton. Do you really think that Jefferson and Washington were naturalized citizens? (well, Jefferson was a naturalized citizen of France…) If so, where is the act of Congress naturalizing them? The Declaration of Independence converted all of the subjects of the several colonies into citizens of the several states and the United States–why would you think that anyone changed from “natural born” to “naturalized” or vice versa? I’m not a lawyer, but this seems like common sense to me…

            • John Woodman says:


              I am only aware of two people who have ever asked this particular question. You’re one, and I’m the other.

              When I was wrapping up my investigation into the birth certificate, I ran out of allegations and questions that other people had asked. At that time, I brainstormed to see whether I could come up with any other possible theories of forgery, or sources of information, etc.

              So the correspondence question was one that I asked as well.

              The answer is: There are signs of at least some similar effects to what we see in the more complicated birth certificate PDF, but not all. The correspondence consists of simpler documents, without a colored safety paper background, and the end PDF, as far as I see, has no shaded areas at all. However, it is clearly (as is the birth certificate PDF) an optimized document. And the “bitmapped” graphics of text are similar to those found in the birth certificate.

              It’s also worth noting: The correspondence documents, as well as the birth certificate, are presented in PDF format. One of the questions I’ve been asked is, “Why did the White House post the birth certificate as a PDF? Why not a JPEG?” My answer has been, “Government documents are typically posted in PDF format.”

              The fact that the correspondence is in PDF format as well further illustrates this point. They simply posted both documents as optimized PDFs.

              My personal opinion (partly from memory and without going back and taking another hard look at both documents) is that a lot of the basic processing of the correspondence was the same, but not identical. There is evidence — in the form of the “halo” — that the birth certificate image was “sharpened.” I don’t know whether the same was done to the correspondence. Because of the white background, there wouldn’t be a halo even if it was. Optimization settings might or might not have been the same. Again, it’s not necessarily easy to tell, because the correspondence is mostly just typed text on white.

            • John Woodman says:


              I’m not sure anyone ever defined the status of the original citizens beyond the fact that they were “original” citizens.

              I wouldn’t think that one of the original citizens of the United States, who until the time of the Declaration of Independence had been a citizen of France (for example) would have been regarded as a “naturalized” citizen, against a prior citizen of England being regarded as a “natural born” one.

              Nor could there have been any “natural born” citizens of the United States until after the Declaration. Were people made “natural born” citizens of the United States retroactively? I wouldn’t think so. Either you were born a citizen of the United States, or you weren’t.

              So in my view, the first child to be born somewhere in the 13 colonies, after the fateful moment on July 4, 1776 when Congress approved the Declaration, became our very first natural-born citizen. As time went on, the “original” citizens, which started at 100% of the population, gradually diminished to zero.

              In that sense, then, I think Washington, Jefferson, and their entire generation were all naturalized citizens of the United States.

              As for the act of Congress that naturalized them — it was “solemnly published and declared” “in General Congress, Assembled,” on the 4th day of July, 1776.

              And as for John Jay, I would think he was simply taking the long view — they were setting up a country that would hopefully last for a long time. I would think that as soon as the suggestion was made, somebody probably piped up, “But we won’t have any natural-born citizens thirty-five years of age at all, for another twenty-four years.” And the obvious answer would’ve been, “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution.”

            • Slartibartfast says:

              Mr. Woodman,

              The DoI doesn’t contain any language naturalizing people and your example doesn’t make sense. The DoI converted subjects of the colonies into citizens of the several states and the United States–your hypothetical Frenchman would have been French both before and after the DoI. I see nothing that would have made foreigners into citizens just because they happened to be on US soil on July 4, 1776–do you? I don’t see any way for you to make your argument in a court of law, while my argument flows naturally from Calvin’s case on down. Thomas Jefferson of Virginia was natural born–you would have us believe that he lost that status on July 4, 1776 by the stroke of his own pen or that he was a natural born citizen of the state of Virginia but a naturalized citizen of the United States–I find either to be absurd. I would suggest that you consult a lawyer if you think I’m wrong (I did when I first became curious about this–he seemed to think that it was pretty straightforward that natural born subjects became natural born citizens after the DoI).

    • John Woodman says:

      Here, I’ll even give you and Leo a hint. Since there’s no getting around the fact that the Supreme Court decisively (6 to 2) and specifically declared any child born on US soil of foreigners domiciled here — with the usual historical rare exceptions of diplomats, etc. — to be “natural” and “natural born”as well as finding such children to be citizens… in an opinion in which also they discussed the Presidential eligibility ramifications of natural born citizenship — you’re probably going to have to simply ignore that one (just as Leo has done so far) and find some bit of irrelevant nonsense to distract your gullible audience.

      I recommend some impressively legal-sounding argument (the gullible are always impressed by things that sound really, really legal) in which you can hide the fallacies of your position, such as the fact that US law only ever recognized born citizens, aliens, and persons born aliens but naturalized after birth.

      And you can’t retread Leo’s argument in the article you referenced. That one’s already been used up.

    • John Woodman says:

      Here’s another refutation of the stupid claims by Leo Donofrio in the article you referenced.

      Donofrio argues that the meaning of Article II Section I of the Constitution is controlled by the 14th Amendment.

      He states that because the 14th Amendment is “general” and Article II Section I is “specific,” then “the court must determine that Clause A requires something more than Clause B.”

      He further interprets this to mean that “Any genuine construction of the “natural born Citizen” clause must begin from the starting point that it requires something more than citizenship by virtue of being born on U.S. soil.”

      He thus argues that the 14th Amendment (by not using the words “natural born citizen” controls the meaning of “natural born citizen” in Article II Section I.

      And he does so while simultaneously admitting, “regardless of the chronology of enactment, the general clause can never govern the specific.”

      So his argument is completely self-contradictory.

      It is impossible for the 14th Amendment, passed in 1868, to have established the original meaning of the term “natural born citizen” in Article II, Section I of the Constitution, which was ratified in 1788, some 80 years earlier.

      The Court in Wong Kim Ark tells us that reference must be had to English common law to understand what the Founders would have meant, because that is the framework in which the Constitution was written. And this is confirmed by the known fact that Blackstone (the writer on English common law) was cited by the Founding Fathers at a rate only behind St. Paul and Montesquieu — more than 15 times as often as they cited the birthers’ hero Vattel. It is also confirmed by the fact that Blackstone’s Commentaries were “the basic text” used by George Wythe — America’s first law professor — at our nation’s first law school, established in 1779.

      And unless the Paraclete can demonstrate that the 14th Amendment intended to alter the very definition of “natural born citizen” in a fundamental way — which it manifestly did not, as its purpose was clearly to overrule the disastrous Dred Scot decision which ruled that black people were not and never could be citizens — then Donofrio has no valid point at all.

      It doesn’t take a genius to see that the purpose of the 14th Amendment was not to create some new restriction on the privileges of citizenship, but to extend those privileges to an entire class of people for whom those privileges had been denied.

      People of African descent.

      So once again Leo claims that true is false and black is white. And once again, it doesn’t even take a lawyer to point out what nonsense he’s spewing.

      I’ll be waiting for your air-tight refutation of the fact that the Supreme Court — “irresistibly,” to use their words — found Wong Kim Ark, the US-born child of two Chinese parents who were not and who never could become US citizens… to be “natural born.”

      • Thomas Brown says:

        My usual trump card in arguing with birthers is the Dissent opinion in WKA which, like you say, makes no sense unless the Majority decision clearly confers Presidential eligibility on those born here of alien parents. If they keep on after that, I’m done.

        But my second favorite issue is the status of Presidential succession and designated survivors therefor. Right now, there are quite a few people in line for President who have at least one non-citizen parent. So: if there WERE a two-parent requirement, the succession would be thrown into disarray at once. It just can’t be.

        To be fair, the two-citizen folks could be seen as honorable and patriotic by trying to get an amendment or resolution passed declaring that to be the law of the land through legal channels. They are perfectly welcome to try. But stridently making the argument that that’s the way it is NOW is a different thing altogether. Especially when they claim that one must be a traitor or criminal or idiot (or, in the case of Judges, corrupt) to assert Obama’s eligibility under the 2nd Amendment as currently interpreted. That puts them somewhere between tin-foil-hatters and seditionists. And when they speak of taking up arms against those of us who voted for Obama and virtually everyone in Washington, in defense of a Constitution they don’t even seem to understand, that is serious business. No sane Conservative should stand for it.

        My compliments on your work. The Right needs a bastion of sanity right now.

        • John Woodman says:

          And that is my position.

          Spreading falsehood and twisting our laws, Constitution and Supreme Court rulings — for the sake of a “good cause” of some temporary political advantage…

          is still spreading falsehood and twisting our laws, Constitution and Supreme Court rulings.

          True conservatives, who value our Constitution and laws, are going to value that Constitution and those laws even if it is temporarily inconvenient to do so. To do otherwise is nothing less than a betrayal of the very same conservative values that they — we — claim to hold.

  5. ###########################
    john, i too have to admit i am surprised you have become a constitutional expert…
    new hobby ? all of your writing above is pure you ?

    • John Woodman says:

      Except for quotes, all of the writing above is about as “pure me” as it’s possible for writing to be.

      Having invested 3 months into finding that there was no good evidence for forgery, it’s an obvious point of interest whether there is any merit in the other claim — that Obama is ineligible on grounds of not being a “natural born citizen.”

      It took me 3 months to reach a conclusion on the first point — the evidence for forgery. It’s taken me 9 months to fully arrive at my present understanding of the second. I gained a very important piece of that understanding just a couple of weeks ago.

      And no, I am not a Constitutional expert. I’m not a lawyer, either. But I’ve read enough and understood enough now to reach a conclusion.

      That includes reading a fair amount of Leo Donofrio’s writings. And every single time I have read and analyzed a new article by Donofrio — every time — it has failed to hold up.

      A couple of months ago, I wrote about how when I followed Donofrio’s references to a book by Frederick van Dyne (whom he claimed supported his two-citizen-parent idea), what I found, overall, was the exact opposite.

      I ended up reading every relevant bit of the treatise by van Dyne that Donofrio referenced — it was kind of costly in terms of my time — and I found that while van Dyne entertained all sides of the question, his ultimate conclusion was that a child born on US soil, of two parents who are not US citizens, who embraces and does not renounce his US citizenship by word or deed, is eligible to become President of the United States.

      And I found this was typical of Donofrio. When you really check out his stuff, as far as my experience has been, you can generally count on the truth being the exact opposite of what Donofrio claims it is.

      All of this, too, comes from a guy who quite openly states that he has in the past made it a sort of game to tell people utter nonsense, to intermingle reality and fantasy and see if people will accept it:

      “Oh yeah, as an artist I once wrote a journal called Onelovestory where I claimed the drummer from my favorite rock and roll band was the Messiah and that I was the Paraclete (aka the Holy Ghost). That was a conceptual work of performance art. Just Google it and I promise you will have a new opinion of me. If some people think it was real, let them believe it. That was the whole point — to mix up reality with fantasy and never let the audience know if you were taking the piss, or losing your mind. Bwahahaha…”

      Kevin Davidson — “Dr. Conspiracy” — recently made a post at his blog entitled “Donofrio has made fools of you all.” It’s worth a read. I disagree with Davidson’s politics — but unlike Donofrio, I have never found anything that Davidson has written that didn’t check out when I tracked it down and analyzed the original sources.

      The key points in the natural born citizen issue, as far as I see, are these:

      1. Donofrio’s claim that Minor v. Happersett established a “binding precedent” as to the “definition” of “natural born citizen” for the purposes of Presidential eligibility is without merit.

      This is for at least two main reasons. First, the passage quoted is simply dicta. The discussion was on something that had already been conceded by all parties. There was nothing for the Court to rule on in this discussion, and it did not constitute any part of the rationale for the actual decision in the case. Therefore, it is undeniably dicta. Dicta never sets binding precedent.

      Therefore it couldn’t establish a binding precedent.

      Secondly (and probably even more important), it didn’t “define” “natural born citizen” anyway. And that is obvious to anybody who is logical and unbiased about the matter.

      Just because a statement is made that someone with A PLUS B is a member of a particular group, and that there is no doubt as to that fact, that DOES NOT constitute a statement that someone who only has A CAN NOT be a member of that group. It just isn’t so. Again, this is elementary English and elementary logic.

      2. I discovered a couple of weeks or so ago while rereading Wong Kim Ark for the ???th time for who knows what reason — that (as detailed above) the Supreme Court not only found Wong Kim Ark to be a citizen, they also found — as a “CONCLUSION” that they were “IRRESISTIBLY” led to after a full consideration of the case on all of its merits — that a person in Wong Kim Ark’s situation was “NATURAL” and “NATURAL BORN.” (At the time, I actually thought I must have been the first person recently to realize this (!), as I had not heard anyone make the point before. It turns out that the point has been made by others, although it does not seem to have been very widely talked about.)

      This being the case, the US Supreme Court has found — as an “IRRESISTIBLE” “CONCLUSION” — that a child born on US soil of TWO parents who were not (and who under the laws of the day never could become) US citizens — but who were domiciled in our country at the time of his birth — was, himself, a natural born citizen.

      They included in their ruling a discussion of the implications of natural born citizenship for Presidential eligibility, showing that they clearly understood they were ruling Wong Kim Ark to be eligible to become President of the United States, in the extremely unlikely event that the people should elect him to that office.

      And the dissent complained about the ruling on the grounds that it might make undesirable people eligible to the Presidency.

      Now in fact, the ruling that the majority handed down did not reach the full fears of the dissent. It did not find that the children of foreigners who were merely “passing through the country” were natural born citizens. It limited that to the children of foreigners who were resident or domiciled here. And the Court’s ruling did not include the children of foreign royalty. It specifically excluded them, along with children of foreign ambassadors, children born on foreign ships, children of occupying armies, etc.

      But as to the children of ordinary Chinese citizens who came to establish their residence here and conduct business and participate as a part of our community for some indefinite period of time — it found that their allegiance to the United States, even if “local and temporary,” was still “strong enough” to produce a child who was “natural” and “natural born.”

      And there is, as I say, no way around this. None that I can see, anyway. The Supreme Court has ruled on the status of the child of ordinary aliens resident in the United States. It found him — or her — to be a natural born citizen, eligible for the Presidency, if the people should so choose.

      Birthers will lament that this opens up a possibility of foreign influence. My reply is: There has always been the possibility for foreign influence of a variety of kinds. And while the Founding Fathers obviously intended to provide some degree of shield against foreign influence, they also quite obviously did not intend to try and make that shield infallible and hermetically sealed.

      Why do I say that? Just look at the qualifications for President. Natural born, 35 years old, 14 years resident in the United States.

      It is therefore perfectly possible under the Constitution — and nobody considers it remarkable at all — that a child could be born in New York of two US citizen parents, move to France or Russia or China or Iran at the age of a few months, live there as a “resident alien” for all of the first 50 years of his life without ever even visiting our country, return to the United States at age 50, and quite legally be elected President at age 64. Such a person would not be an “American” in any sense that we understand. But his or her election as President would be indisputably legal under our Constitution.

      Yes, the Founding Fathers built some protection into the Constitution. But they never intended for that protection to be absolute. Ultimately, they intended that the People of the United States be well informed, and make wise judgments regarding those whom they selected to lead them.

      And as I have reflected on the matter, it frankly amazes me that some of the very same people who rightly complain about the creeping Nanny State, out of the very same mouth, also proclaim that the Founding Fathers ought to have very sternly forbade the American People from EVER, EVER, EVER electing as our chief executive a candidate — including great Americans like Marco Rubio — who was born an American, on US soil, and who has lived his or her entire life here, but whose parents, although domiciled here and committed to our nation, were not themselves, at the time of that candidate’s birth, United States citizens.

  6. goodgravy says:

    Congrats John,

    That is without doubt the most thorough, thoughtful, reasoned, professional, honest, devastating takedown of donofrio, apuzzo, ‘paul smith’, and all these other absolute fools ive ever read, sir. I will be pointing everyone to this board, as a tremendous resource for which birfoons have no ‘panacea’.

  7. You lose all credibility when you say they have no “evidence” of a forgery. Multiple former CIA and FBI agents (just search youtube) have publicly documented dozens of doctored features.

    I’m no “expert” but I took the whitehouse.gov file into Photoshop and ALSO saw multiple layers separating individual letters or elements from the rest of the image.

    It’s very strange you would assert as “fact” something the average joe like me can see with my own two eyes.

    It IS a forgery. That does not speak to why he did it, where he was born or any of the other arguments – but to assert otherwise disqualifies your entire defense.

    • John Woodman says:


      Thanks for showing up, thanks for your interest, and thanks for your comment!

      The problem, however, is that you have come a bit late to the event, and without all of the background that you really need at this point.

      As far as I am aware, I have never stated that there is “no evidence” of a forgery. If I’ve inadvertently used that phrase on any occasion, that would have been a misstatement on my part.

      I have, however, stated — and I absolutely maintain — that nobody has yet produced any good evidence for forgery. And I have very good reasons for doing so.

      Skeptics as to Mr. Obama’s eligibility expressed the desire that someone should really investigate the various claims that his birth certificate was forged. Many of these were computer-related, and as that’s my field, I started looking at various claims.

      I spent some 500 hours over 3 months — it really became a second full-time job, 40 hours a week, for 3 months — digging into the various claims and allegations of “proof” or “evidence” of forgery. I ended up investigating every single significant claim that I could find mention of, or that I could think up myself. Not one of them, examined closely, stood up as being good evidence. This is somewhat remarkable, given the large number of claims.

      At that point, rather than keep the findings to myself, I made them publicly available in the form of a 221-page book. That was 5 months ago. Not one of the birther analysts whose work I’ve critiqued has factually refuted my analysis of their work or their conclusions. One of them, in fact, quite honestly acknowledged the major flaws I found in his analysis and decided not to submit his work to the FBI as he had previously intended. In that regard, Paul Irey has shown himself to be a man of honesty and integrity.

      To date, not one material point that I made in the 221-page book — and I estimate that I made around 120 such points — has been factually refuted. The biggest thing I’ve had to retract (the only thing, as far as I can recall) has been my erroneous use of the term “Democrat Party” to mean “Democratic Party.” The book has been ignored as widely as possible by birthers, including several who write for public consumption and who emphasize that they are all about the “truth.” Those who have paid any attention have generally falsely branded me an “Obot” and engaged in other kinds of personal attacks.

      My opponents in a recent debate, in fact, resorted to tactics of:

      • focusing on minutiae such as “Why didn’t the White House issue an official statement explaining their choice of document format?”
      • interrupting my explanations of various points
      • at one point, the distraction technique of interjecting a different question after every single sentence that I spoke (!)
      • ridicule and bald assertions, backed by absolutely zero evidence or examples, that my points were “incoherent” and had “no value”
      • and literally shouting me down

      In so doing, they pretty well demonstrated that their arguments couldn’t win on the basis of the facts.

      So that’s where we are. Yes, there is “evidence” for forgery. Tons of it, in fact. But there is no good evidence for forgery.

      To explain to you why not one single point of the abundant “evidence” is any good would take quite a while. In fact, I’ve pretty well done it before, and it took me 221 pages.

      If you would like a really good understanding of the history of my 3-month investigation, and all of the reasons why I eventually reached the conclusions that I did, I would highly recommend you to get a copy of the book. I recommend that you set aside your prejudices going in and any particular desire that the conclusion “has” to be any one thing or another, read it, and fully understand the 40 chapters that I wrote.

      It is also a good reference as to why any specific point of the birther claims of “evidence for forgery” fails to hold up under scrutiny.

      Perpetuating falsehood, and twisting our Constitution, our laws and our Supreme Court decisions, for the sake of some temporary perceived political advantage… is still… perpetuating falsehood and twisting our Constitution, our laws and our Supreme Court decisions.

      As a conservative and an American, I support the conservative — and American — values of truth, the Constitution, and the rule of law.

      Thanks for visiting, Jim. I wish you well!

      • Thomas Brown says:

        I would like to add to your scientific refutation of the alleged forgery, if I may, an inductive analysis: it doesn’t pass the “smell test.”

        If Obama’s birth certificate is forged, that means every single other record… photos, birth announcements, remembrances of people who knew him in childhood, and so on… which indicate that he was born in Hawaii would also have to be forged. Even allowing for the widest latitude of possibility, some of it would have to have been forged recently, and some would have to have been forged at the time; this strains credibility to the breaking point. (And despite what your readers may have heard from tribble-pated windbags on TV, there is a huge pile of evidence of Obama’s childhood, just as he has described it.) A perfectly covered-up conspiracy by Obama’s parents when he was an infant, and another perfectly-hidden conspiracy to cover up the first one? That makes the JFK-assassination “magic bullet” theory look positively level-headed.

        Criticize Obama on factual grounds all you like, folks, based on what he has actually said, done, or written. That’s called a “loyal opposition.” But please be a bit skeptical of attacks framed on what he’s “going to do” (e.g. confiscate your guns), or what someone says he “actually meant” (e.g. he may have written volumes about his love for America, but secretly he hates her).

        Even those of us who most acerbically criticized President Bush never believed for a second that he “hated America” or was “trying to destroy America.” I’m sure he loves his country deeply, and sincerely believed he was acting in its best interest, however much I disagreed with his policies. I have great respect for his refusal to comment on his successor’s job. There is much to admire in him. If he damaged America, I at least am completely convinced he did not intend to do so.

        Please have the decency to extend President Obama a similar degree of consideration.

        My fellow Americans, this birther nonsense avails your cause naught. It poisons your value as “loyal opposition.” Take John’s advice: give it a rest.

        • Thomas Brown says:

          Sorry the italics didn’t close after “forged.” My bad.

        • John Woodman says:

          Thomas, I slightly edited your post for you to close your italics tags where you intended to do so.

          Easy to do, that.

          And yes, you make good points as to other evidence. In the course of my investigation, I personally noted that we have the testimony of:

          • half a dozen different Hawaii officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations
          • Obama’s high school teacher Barbara Nelson, who has testified that she remembers personally hearing of Obama’s birth in Hawaii
          • the birth announcements in two different newspapers, which can be accessed on old microfiche at probably fifty or a hundred different libraries in the US
          • and the circumstances of the mother.

          It simply doesn’t seem plausible that Stanley Ann Dunham Obama would have traveled at great expense, at age 18, to Kenya — halfway around the world — to give birth to her first child, all alone, in an unknown third-world hospital among strangers. Nor does it really make sense that she would have made the trip, very heavily pregnant, just to meet Obama Sr.’s family and unexpectedly gotten caught stuck there. So the scenario doesn’t make sense. And there seems to be no good evidence to the contrary. All I’ve seen amounts to hearsay and faked “Kenyan birth certificates.”

          My ultimate conclusion has been that due to the weakness of the various claims, and the circumstantial evidence listed above that puts Obama’s birth in Honolulu, I personally am satisfied. Am I willing to change my mind if some real and genuinely convincing evidence emerges to the contrary? Absolutely. But at this point the totality of the evidence leads me to believe that Mr. Obama was born in Honolulu.

          Being born in Honolulu doesn’t make him a good President. It doesn’t mean he deserves reelection. That is a much higher standard than being born in the US. Plenty of people have been born in the US. There aren’t that many of them that I would like to have as President. So as I say: there’s nothing wrong with opposing Mr. Obama. I oppose Mr. Obama myself. But if you’re going to oppose him, do so for valid reasons. Otherwise you’re really just wasting your time.

          • Whatever4 says:

            I have another data point for Birth in Hawaii — Monica Danielsson, mother of Stig Waidelich. Stig was the guy CNN found who was born the same day as Obama in the same hospital. His mother is Norwegian and had never seen a black baby before, so she remembers Baby Obama quite well.

            I’ve put quite a bit of time into my own project — to combat the claim that no one knew Obama. My own motivation? I detest rumors and lies from either side. I debunked Bush rumors in the previous administration. (I’m a moderate former Republican.) Thanks for your contributions to the truth!


            • John Woodman says:

              That is indeed another data point.

              First, let’s provide a link to an original article.

              Now… how useful is it as a data point? Mrs. Danielsson does not state that she knew the name of the black infant, only that there was one present in the nursery at the same time as her own child.

              In 1960, black people made up 0.8% of Hawaii’s population. This means that there was 1 black person for every 125 Hawaiians.

              If the average hospital nursery in 1960 contained a dozen babies during the average infant’s stay, then the odds of a black infant being in the mix would be 1 in 10.

              Of course, if there were more like 2 dozen infants, then the odds would be more like 1 out of 5.

              Still, most of the time it wouldn’t happen. It seems to me that the odds are probably at least 80% that the average mother could not have seen a black infant in the nursery while her own child was there.

              That being the case, Mrs. Danielsson’s testimony is a data point. Far from decisive in itself, but definitely another data point in favor of Hawaiian birth.

              The evidence we had was already pretty decent. This does strengthen it even a bit further.

          • This is an interesting statistical problem. If the probability of a black birth in 1961 were 1/125 or 0.008 then the probability of there being one and only one black child is just under 16% for 24 births. This is a binomial distribution problem where the outcome of one event has no effect on the next event.

            As you said this is just one more data point.

            • John Woodman says:

              Real-life problems are often kind of messy. I tried to simply it by asking, “How many infants would likely have passed through the nursery during the entire time Mrs. Danielsson’s child was there?”

              If Barack Obama was born in that hospital, at the time claimed, then the odds of him having been in that nursery are probably close to 100%. However — and here’s the messy part — he would not have been in the nursery the entire time. Part of the time he would’ve undoubtedly been in the room with his mom. That fact only strengthens things a bit.

              What we are looking for are the odds that at least one black infant would have been in the nursery during the time baby Stig was. And those odds, as far as I can see, appear to be fairly low. Probably around 20% or less.

              Although I graduated with a mathematics degree and therefore studied plenty of probability and statistics, that’s been a while ago. So if anyone can see any real flaws, they’re welcome to point them out.

              All this particular data point really does is point out that it would have been fairly unusual for a mother to be able to see a black infant at that time in the Kapiolani nursery. As I said, the incident is hardly conclusive. It is however, as we’ve noted, another data point that is pretty significantly in line with the official claims.

    • John Woodman says:

      Incidentally, you should know that I have never been among those who have branded skeptics of Mr. Obama’s eligibility as “kooks.”

      I have always felt that the questions were legitimate, and deserved answers. That was what I set out to do with my investigation, and my book.

      • Thomas Brown says:

        You wouldn’t agree that at least SOME of them are kooks? Like those who wrote (apparently seriously) that Barack and Michelle are actually shape-shifting lizard people? Or (as has recently been said widely) that there were two separate people, Barry Obama and Barry Soetoro, and we don’t really know which one is now in the White House, or what happened to the “other” one?

        Wouldn’t it be a mistake to lump apparently honorable complainants like David Farrar (among others) in with such?

        • John Woodman says:

          Yes, some are kooks. But there are many honest people who’ve heard all of the propaganda, who are quite reasonable, sincere, level-headed Americans.

          It took me 500 hours — 3 months’ work, full time — to really fully investigate the claims of forgery and come to a firm conclusion that there was nothing to any of them. Very few people will invest that kind of time. That being the case, they are at the mercy of what they hear. Moreover, many of them are not at all well equipped to evaluate things like the computer claims for themselves.

          That being the case, they hear that “20 experts have evaluated the birth certificate, and ALL of them have concluded that it’s definitely a forgery.” The experts come with apparently impressive credentials.

          The average reasonable person, given that set of “facts,” is likely to reasonably conclude that there must be something to the rumors and claims.

          Same things with the Constitutional claims.

          So yes, there are kooks in the birther movement, as well as (I think undoubtedly) some people who know that it’s all nonsense but are still playing it for personal advantage of some kind or other. Fame. Notoriety. Money. All are possible.

          But I think there are also a lot of average, reasonable Americans who only know what they’ve been told, from sources that they think are credible.

          • Thomas Brown says:

            You make an excellent point. That’s why when some weak- but bloody-minded person shoots up a church because “liberals are destroying America” or kills the police officers at his door because he was convinced they were from “Obama’s gun confiscation squads,” I reserve the majority of my vitriol not for the deluded and troubled perpetrators, but for those who deluded them, who seek political advantage at any cost by telling the public their country is in danger of utter destruction by the “demonic forces of liberalism.”

            If one of the rationales for the 2nd Amendment is that patriots should be able to mount armed resistance to threats to their country, doesn’t it behoove us to make sure those threats are real and the enemies not imaginary?

            I dropped my membership in the NRA recently after I understood that they have taken to calling me, my friends, my family and associates “enemies of freedom” and saying we have to be stopped before we allow gun ownership to be forbidden in America. I think they are missing a golden opportunity: they could welcome the majority of Democrats who either own guns themselves or support the 2nd Amendment into their fold, strengthening their political clout. But how we supposed to support an organization that brands us as traitors to the country I love with all my heart and soul?

            • joeymac says:

              … one of the rationales for the 2nd Amendment is that patriots should be able to mount armed resistance to threats to their country, …

              I consider myself a dyed-in-the-wool, fire bagging liberal who subscribes to those views exactly. It is not only the RW that has and appreciates firearms.

              But, I would never affiliate with the NRA because of it’s endemic racism which insults me and my ancestry.

    • joeymac says:

      To me it is hard to believe that a sentient human being can assert that any item is a “forgery” by examining a replication of that item, whether is is a document, a watch or piece of designer clothing.

      This is like looking at a xerox of a Ten-Dollar bill and rounding opining that the original is fake. Until you examine and analyse the actual original you can’t tell jack squat about its authenticity. Kooky (and perhaps, duplicitous) birthers make grandiose claims about supposed anomalies of a document from nth generation reproductions of that documents.

      The State of Hawaii, which issued the document, attests to the authenticity of the original BCs! It acknowledged issuing the special long-form BC and it CANNOT issue a “forgery.” Just like your Motor Vehicle Bureau cannot issue a forged driver’s license–if it issues the document, it is, ipso facto, genuine.

      • John Woodman says:

        I always seem to risk offending both birthers and non-birthers.

        You make a good first point, in my opinion: If you’re going to declare something a forgery, it’s a really good idea, generally, to make sure you’re doing so based on an original rather than some copy.

        Nonetheless, I think it is possible, in some instances, to determine that something is a forgery simply by looking at a copy of it. That is why my analysis included such things as tab stops, spacing, and the information on the form — because those were points at which a forgery might conceivably be credibly be detected.

        I’ve heard others make your second point — that no document issued by the Hawaii Department of Health can possibly be a forgery. I do not find it to be a valid point.

        If Mr. Obama actually were born in Kenya, and the Hawaii Department of Health were to deliberately issue an official birth certificate for him falsely certifying that he was born in Honolulu, then that most definitely would constitute a forgery in my mind, and I think also in the minds of the vast majority of people.

        • joeymac says:

          I believe that you are wrong with both your disagreements.
          (1) If you examine a reproduction of something, you have no assurance that it is a accurate reproduction; therefore, despite any anomalies in the repro, you must examine the original to accurately assess its authenticity.

          (2) When a Bureau is tasked with issuing BCs, any BC it issues is legitimate; possibly, it could be working with incorrect data, but what it issues is a legal document.

          Just like people use bogus documents to acquire driver’s licences, the falsity of source data does not make the issued licence a forgery.

          • John Woodman says:

            On point 1: There still might be valid, detectable evidence for forgery. For example, if a document contained information that it could not possibly contain, that would be a good indication that it was forged.

            On point 2: I don’t speak of forgery in the sense of invalidity in a court of law. I think you are correct that any officially issued birth certificate is going to be accepted as legitimate by any court — unless there is definitely compelling evidence that someone at the Hawaii Dept. of Health produced a document that was based on false information.

            But in most people’s minds (and in mine as well), if a person were to be born in another country, and if someone at an official government agency some 50 years later were to create for him an official document that falsely attested that he had been born in the United States when in fact he had not been, that would definitely constitute forgery. And it would still be a forgery, no matter whether it were accepted as valid in a court of law or not.

        • joeymac says:

          In conclusion, even if the President was born in Kenya, Indonesia, British Columbia, or on the moon–if the Registrar is Hawaii found that the evidence of a Honolulu birth persuasive and registered it as such, that would settle the matter legally. It would be a difficult task indeed to overturn that decision.

  8. ###########################

    I suppose I owe you an apology. I posted a link to this article over at Mario Apuzzo’s blog with the ironic name Natural Born Citizen – A Place to Ask Questions and Get the Right Answers . He read your comments here and unfortunately, it appears that Mario, Esq. has completely refuted your arguments. (At least according to him.)

    • John Woodman says:


      It is to be expected that Apuzzo and Donofrio would attempt to answer the arguments made here. Because face it: If they don’t have a decent answer (and they don’t) then it’s game over for their entire load of nonsense that they have invested years into.

      Mr. Donofrio and Mr. Apuzzo: I do feel kind of sorry for you in your position. But you can’t make a bunch of invalid arguments before the public without expecting that — sooner or later — someone is going to come along and simply point out that they’re invalid. It’s inevitable.

      So, let’s look at Mario’s “refutation.”

      By the way, let me first start with one of his main points just above your comment, to demonstrate what nonsense he’s pushing:

      “…the majority’s opinion [in Wong Kim Ark] did not discuss the presidential qualification clause of the Constitution and is not necessarily relevant to its interpretation, except possibly by inference”

      Nonsense. Here’s a direct quote from the majority’s opinion:

      The Constitution of the United States, as originally adopted, uses the words “citizen of the United States,” and “natural-born citizen of the United States.” By the original Constitution, every representative in Congress is required to have been “seven years a citizen of the United States,” and every Senator to have been “nine years a citizen of the United States.” and “no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President.”

      Thus — just as I have stated — the Court in Wong Kim Ark included a statement in their opinion on the implications of natural born citizenship for Presidential eligibility, thus indicating that they were well aware of the consequences of ruling Wong Kim Ark to be a natural born citizen.

      As we’ve noted, the two dissenting Justices were well aware of the consequences, too.

      There’s no way around this. Yet Mario completely denies the plain facts written in black and white.

      “Mr. Woodman is so blinded by his bias and falsehoods that he faults Mr. Donofrio for admitting to using mushrooms and ecstasy, but yet with the same brush he defends Mr. Obama (the putative President) who has admitted to using cocaine and marijuana.”

      Nonsense. I have never defended Obama’s use of cocaine and marijuana. I most emphatically don’t defend his use of cocaine and marijuana. And I don’t defend Obama himself. I maintain that he should be voted out of office for his failure to manage well our nation’s finances, his heavy-handed shoving of Obamacare down the throats of a very large percentage of Americans, his over-regulation of small business, and his administration’s attempts to force Catholic hospital administrators to violate their own consciences and freedom of religion by making them provide abortion coverage contraceptive services including pills that work in an abortifacient manner [see correction elsewhere]. And I’m sure that if I think about it, I can come up with some other reasons as well.

      I do defend basic truth, reality, the Constitution and the integrity of our political system. I also emphasize the importance of the integrity of conservatives and Americans in general — maintaining that none of us ought to use falsehood and conspiracy theory and law-twisting for short-term political gain. It’s just not good for the country.

      This is also a bit of a straw-man argument on Mr. Apuzzo’s part. Leo Donofrio’s past use of magic mushrooms and ecstasy, his confirmed past public claims to personally be the Holy Spirit of God on Earth, and his admission of having previously “mixed up reality with fantasy and never let the audience know if you were taking the piss, or losing your mind. Bwahahaha…” are all quite relevant as to whether it is a good idea for the public to believe him now.

      “Fool me once — shame on you. Fool me twice — shame on me.”

      “On the substance of Mr. Woodman’s arguments (which there really is none), he offers a lot of personal opinion and manipulations of truth (e.g., that Paul Irey was not qualified to be an expert witness and that the “birthers” cannot find any real experts rather than state the truth which is that Orly Taitz simply did not put in the record his qualifications), but no or at best very little in terms of logic, historical materials, Congressional historical analysis, and U.S. Supreme Court case law as support for his conclusions. “

      On the expert witness issue, I have merely expressed very serious doubts that Paul Irey, Doug Vogt — or I myself — would meet the professional standards for an expert witness. Given what I’ve read of those standards, I think that doubt is very reasonable.

      As to the other: Apparently Mr. Apuzzo missed the logic in my posts above. Apparently he missed the historical references. Apparently he missed the US Supreme Court case law. As for Congressional historical analysis, the decision in Wong Kim Ark will act to overrule any such statements and analysis.

      And the fact is, there are at least some arguments that have been made in the past that support Apuzzo’s point of view. I have acknowledged this. But the question is: what does the totality of the evidence say? And what did the Supreme Court say?

      Donofrio and Apuzzo seem to be almost alone — there’s Herb Titus as well, but he’s the only other person I can think of offhand — in terms of people in the legal profession, who adhere to their natural born citizen claims. The Court in Ankeny ruled against them. The Congressional Research Service produced a very extensive report which flatly contradicts their claims. Malihi has ruled against them. A court in Virginia — in Tisdale v. Obama — has just ruled the same way. And I don’t have reference offhand, but I’ll bet you could come up with quite a number of respected legal scholars who have written on natural born citizenship, and we would be hard pressed to find even one who has written that natural born citizenship requires both two citizen parents and birth on US soil.

      In fact, as I’ve noted, Frederick van Dyne, whom Leo Donofrio claimed supported his position, ends up by flatly contradicting it.

      There are five respected authorities — off of the top of my head with hardly a thought — who have actually heard the natural-born citizen arguments, completely aside from the US Supreme Court, who reach the same conclusions I do. And yet, according to Mario, “There really is” no “substance of Mr. Woodman’s arguments.”

      And yet Mario cannot produce one single court that has ever ruled that two citizen parents, plus birth on US soil, is required to produce a natural born citizen. He claims that the Supreme Court in Minor did, but as we shall quickly see, they most emphatically did not.

      But most importantly, aside from those five authorities and as detailed above — the United States Supreme Court has ruled directly against Apuzzo and Donofrio’s position, and to this day has refused to review and re-rule on any of the “natural born citizen” birther challenges.

      Continuing on:

      “That Minor did not give us a definition of the “natural born Citizen” clause is baseless when we simply consider that the Court in starting its analysis of the meaning of the terms said: “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that” (emphasis supplied). Did you see that, the Court said “shall.” Hence, whatever the Court told us after that statement surely would be a definition that described all persons who “shall” be a “natural born Citizen.” It would make absolutely no sense for the Court to give us just one example of a “natural-born citizen” when there could have been more. The nonsense of such a position is elevated even more when we consider that the Court did mention that there were “some authorities” claiming that a child born in the country to alien parents could even be a “citizen.” The Court added that “there have been doubts” about this other class of citizen which clearly shows that the Court looked at those persons not as “natural-born citizens,” but as possible “citizens” under the new Fourteenth Amendment. “

      So Apuzzo claims that it’s “nonsense” to suppose that the Court in Minor failed to give us a full and binding “definition” of “natural born citizen.”

      As he and Donofrio always do, he twists the meaning of the following passage:

      “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. “

      The first test we might apply to this passage is the “smell” test. Take the passage, just as written, and put it onto a piece of paper. Make 50 copies. Take your copies to several honors English classes of the most prestigious university you can get to. Pick 50 of the best students. Make sure they are politically uninterested, or at least totally unfamiliar with the Donofrio and Apuzzo claims and have no sense that the passage is supposed to support or oppose a particular politician. Have all 50 students read the passage and write a brief essay explaining what it means.

      I would be willing to bet good money that out of 50 disinterested, uninformed, uncoached but otherwise highly intelligent scholars who read the passage, you will not find one who will spontaneously write an essay claiming that it means the Supreme Court was saying that you had to have two citizen parents PLUS be born on US soil in order to be a natural born citizen.

      And why not? The answer is stunningly simple. It’s because that’s not what the passage says.

      Donofrio and Apuzzo, however, twist the meaning of the passage by insisting that when the Court used the term “citizens” in possible regard to “children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship fo their parents,” they thereby specifically exclude the possibility that such children are natural-born citizens.

      This is nonsense. The use of the term “citizens” refers back to the main idea and the main construction in the previous sentence. It refers back to the central point of what they were discussing — citizenship, not natural born citizenship. Because whether or not citizenship was “natural born” was completely irrelevant to the case the Court was addressing. Virginia Minor could’ve been a naturalized citizen from Lithuania, and her right to vote — or not — still would have been exactly the same.

      Let’s temporarily eliminate the somewhat-parenthetical comment, retain the main points, and see what it looks like:

      “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also… Some authorities go further and include as citizens [exact same status, exact same description, exact same word as the first bunch] children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.

      Temporarily dropping out the comment that refers specifically to the first category of people makes it plain what their entire POINT was all about: It was not, in the Minor case, about who was or was not NATURAL BORN (for the purposes of Presidential eligibility) — the entire discussion was about who was and was not A CITIZEN. The two statements are symmetric and intimately related: “A is most definitely a CITIZEN. As to whether B is a CITIZEN or not, there have been some doubts. It is not necessary to resolve these, since Virginia Minor is A. Therefore, Virginia Minor is a CITIZEN.”

      And the reason for all of this is that Minor v. Happersett was never in any way about Presidential eligibility. It was about whether or not Virginia Minor had the right to vote.

      Her status as a CITIZEN — whether natural-born or naturalized, that part didn’t matter — was relevant to the question. The question of exactly who was, and who was not, “NATURAL BORN,” never was relevant to the question before the Court at that time.

      And THAT is why the statement in Minor is DICTA. And since it’s dicta, it is not and can not be the binding precedent for the “definition” of a “natural born citizen” for the purposes of Presidential eligibility that Donofrio and Apuzzo claim it is.

      Now let’s put our somewhat-parenthetical statement back in, and look at it that way.

      “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. “

      Note again: the Court made no distinction between natives and natural-born citizens. And they never stated that children born of non-citizen parents were not natural born citizens.

      A failure to state that children born of non-citizen parents were natural born citizens IS NOT a statement that children born of non-citizen parents aren’t natural born citizens. Not addressing something does not equal ruling against it. Yet Donofrio and Apuzzo claim it does.

      The fact that the Court in Minor did not intend to create a binding “definition” of “natural born citizen” — or even a determination as to the citizenship status of children born here of resident non-citizens — is manifest in their statement, “For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.”

      And note that they didn’t say “are themselves natural-born citizens.” They said, “are themselves citizens.”

      Why? Because the entire point of their discussion was never natural-born citizenship. It was citizenship, period.

      “Mr. Woodman’s “is” and “is not” argument is hilarious.”

      Here Apuzzo resorts to what has become a typical “birther expert” rejoinder: The claim, with no (or at least, totally insufficient) supporting evidence, that my points are “ridiculous,” “incoherent,” or “hilarious.”

      It is similar to the way in which Mara Zebest has ridiculed me for not using as expensive a graphics program as the one she uses. It is similar to the way that Jerome Corsi said, “You’re very argumentative.”

      If you can’t win the discussion on the facts, then try to find some point — any point at all — on which you can attempt to discredit the person bringing the facts. And you don’t have to have any actual evidence of your assertion. Just label him. He’s “incoherent.” He’s “hilarious.” He’s “an Obot.” Pretty much any derisive label will do, if all you want — or all you can hope — to accomplish is to mislead the gullible.

      “Yes, indeed, the statement that a cow “is” an animal that gives milk does not mean that a cow “is not” an animal that also gives orange juice. So therefore, a cow also gives orange juice. Is this the legal brilliance that you and your people are peddling to the American public?”

      To his credit, Apuzzo does actually try to bring some support to his “hilarious” statement. But the argument is a “straw man.”

      Here’s how you do a “straw man” ploy. First, you claim (as Apuzzo did here) that your opponent is making some ridiculous argument (one that he isn’t making) instead of the argument that he is making. Then, publicly knock down the “straw man” you have set up. Hey, you’re a winner!!! You’ve shown how big you are by kicking the stuffings out of the straw man, after convincing the gullible that the straw man is the real argument.

      And by doing so, you avoid publicly facing the real argument that — if you actually do face it — is going to embarrassingly knock you on your butt.

      Here’s the actual statement I made. It’s a perfectly true, valid and logical statement:

      The statement: “There is no doubt that someone who has A PLUS B can be a member of this club.”

      IS NOT a statement that

      “Nobody who only has A can be a member of this club.”

      Mario sets up his straw man to pretend that he has shown that statement to be false. He hasn’t. All he has done is demonstrate that he claims a clearly true and logical statement to be false, and that when presented with a true and valid analysis, his response — rather than acknowledging its validity — is to try attacking it using a straw-man argument.

      Not good.

      Now we weren’t actually talking about cows. But since Mario has a fascination with livestock that moos, let’s reconstitute the argument in terms he can relate to:

      The statement:

      “Any large animal that gives milk and has horns is definitely a cow.”


      “No large animal that gives milk, but is hornless, can possibly be a cow.”

      And in fact, a bit of research shows that there are indeed breeds of cattle that give milk, but who have no horns. “Polled” dairy cattle definitely exist.

      But not according to Mario. Because according to Mario’s logic, hornless dairy cattle can’t possibly exist.

      And yet they do. Good heavens. Mario forgot to tell the cows.

      “I love how Mr. Woodman concedes that it is “impossible for the 14th Amendment, passed in 1868, to have established the original meaning of the term ‘natural born citizen’ in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, which was ratified in 1788, some 80 years earlier” and that the 14th Amendment did not “intend[] to alter the very definition of ‘natural born citizen’ in a fundamental way.” It is beyond comprehension how he believes such a concession supports his baseless arguments. “

      That wasn’t a “concession” — it was an assertion that I made! Mario seems to think that re-labeling a positive assertion that I made and describing it as a concession will make it look like I’m somehow on the losing end of an argument.

      He also tries the “labeling” trick again — while offering absolutely zero evidence whatsoever that my arguments are indeed “baseless.” Nor does he offer any evidence whatsoever that the fact that the 14th Amendment could not have established the original meaning of “natural born” in ANY way supports HIS arguments.

      And this obviously valid assertion by me, as I noted, illustrates that Donofrio’s claim — in that particular instance — is self-contradictory. In fact, that was the entire point (which Mario naturally does not address) of my making that statement in the first place.

      “I could go on and show you more of Mr. Woodman’s errors but I will stop here. “

      Have you been counting the errors that Mr. Apuzzo has successfully demonstrated, by the time he reaches his “stopping point?”

      You might also note what Mr. Apuzzo very conscientiously and most emphatically avoided ever addressing…

      The fact that the Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark expressly stated that the allegiance of “every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here…”to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary… is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case, 7 Rep. 6a, ‘strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue here, that issue [or in modern language, that child] is a natural-born subject.”

      Actually, let’s put modifying phrases where they really belong, and restate in a more straightforward way what the Supreme Court found. It is no mangling of the meaning whatsoever to express the statement of the Supreme Court in this way:

      “The foregoing considerations and authorities [– in other words, all of the research that we have done and discussed in this case –] irresistibly lead us to the conclusion that the allegiance to the United States that every citizen or subject of another country has while domiciled here, is direct and immediate. And although such allegiance is only local and temporary, continuing only so long as that citizen or subject of another country remains within our territory, it is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case, ‘strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue [that is, a child] here [in our country], that issue is a natural-born subject’ [to use the historic English language, or in American terms, a natural-born citizen.] The only exceptions to this rule (as old as the rule itself) are those of the children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, those born on foreign public ships, and those of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory — plus the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes.”

      I believe a careful analysis of the original text by any intelligent reader will show that — although I have left out some other portions of their conclusions — putting it the way I have is not a mangling of their words or conclusions in any way.

      One is certainly free to question the wisdom of the Court in deciding the case this way. But it is another thing altogether to deny the fact that they found Wong Kim Ark, and other children born in his situation, to be “natural born,” and to be “citizens,” or — in short — to be “natural born citizens.”

      Now somehow, Mario has forgotten to even address that teeny little point. But I’m sure his refutation of my “hilarious” analysis is complete and sufficient without it.

      • Thomas Brown says:

        Uh, John… re: fact-based criticisms of President Obama… where do you get that idea about “his administration’s attempts to force Catholic hospital administrators to violate their own consciences and freedom of religion by making them provide abortion coverage”?

        As far as I know, the Administration only intends to require non-religious entities like hospitals associated with churches to offer contraceptive services in their employee health plans. And why should such institutions be allowed to deny their secular employees such coverage, especially since a recent poll found that even Catholics supported this requirement 58% vs. 38% against? Is the message “Oh, no, we don’t believe in it, so you can’t have it” fair?

        And what’s with the conscience objection anyway, as regards making choices for other people? Perhaps we should extend the Hyde Amendment to prohibit Tax Dollars from being spent on anything opposed by a significant segment of the population? Personally, I objected to my tax dollars being spent on the bombs that blew the heads and arms off little Iraqi children, and being spent to prosecute people and incarcerate them for decades because they were caught with a joint. Are Catholics’ conscientious objections more valid than mine?

        Neither do I understand allowing pharmacists a conscience objection to selling contraceptives. Say an employee at Raytheon decides she has a conscience objection to developing weapons…. should we prevent Raytheon from firing her, because she’s only following her conscience? Or say someone at Roche labs refuses to perform tests on animals out of conscience. The company can (rightly) say “but that’s what we do… you knew that when we hired you, and you cannot keep your job unless you do it.” Why is that situation different from allowing a pharmacist to refuse legal birth control to an adult citizen?

        Looks to me like Christian, and especially Catholic, consciences enjoy a privileged, protected status not afforded those of others of different faiths. When Muslim cab drivers tried to refuse rides to anyone carrying liquor in NY, they were told “no, you can’t do that and keep your jobs.” Was that because their deeply-held beliefs were, you know, the ‘wrong kind’?

        That finding was, by the way, I think, correct. The only persons their beliefs applied to among the public is themselves. Similarly, Catholics’ control over contraceptive choice applies… only to them. They can refuse to use it themselves, but why can they make that choice for others?

        As far as I can tell, the American Way, as envisioned by the Founders, and I’m paraphrasing of course, is “Your God tells you what to do… cool. Your God tells me what I should do? Not so much.”

        • John Woodman says:

          where do you get that idea about “his administration’s attempts to force Catholic hospital administrators to violate their own consciences and freedom of religion by making them provide abortion coverage”?

          I stand corrected — what I should have said was “contraceptive services — including drugs that work in an abortifacient manner.”

          Catholics generally consider contraception to be wrong, and abortion to be murder — a great moral evil. The government is thus attempting to force Catholic institutions (and the individuals who run them) to commit what is, in their understanding, a very grave moral crime before God.

          This government cannot do. It is a complete violation of the freedom of religion and the freedom of conscience. This kind of violation of the conscience of the individual is flat-out evil.

          That alone, in my view and in the view of a great many other Americans, is more than reason enough to dismiss Mr. Obama from his job.

          • Thomas Brown says:

            But a complete violation of MY conscience, the mangling of helpless women and children in Iraq by Blackwater, and using my taxes to pay for it… that’s just fine, right?

            You miss the point: there is no violation of conscience in the acts of another person. As a Catholic, you get to exercise your conscience in your own choices, period. So: don’t use abortifacient contraceptives. YOURSELF.

            What somebody else does, even with a health plan you provide them, has no bearing whatsoever on your spiritual exercise. Unless you want to give everyone else the same conscience protections you claim the Government owes you, you have no valid point.

            • John Woodman says:

              I’m not happy with the violation of anybody’s conscience. However, there’s no controlling what the federal government does with your tax dollars or mine. Our recourse in that instance is to lobby our legislators and demand accountability.

              I maintain, however, that that issue is still very different from such a thing as demanding that you — under penalty of law — write out a check directly to “Blackwater, Inc.” to pay for a bomb that they intend to use to level a village. And that, roughly speaking, is how I view and understand the Catholic issue.

  9. Ed Darrell says:


    It’s true that I am not a lawyer.

    I am a lawyer. So what?

    You’re interpretation is correct. Minor v. Happersett dealt with the eligibility of women to vote. Not only did it not deal with citizenship, a ruling on citizenship in such a case would raise the issue of whether the judges were competent, and probably would have been grounds for impeachment.

    Judges may not rule on issues not before them. Citizenship was not an issue before the court.

    • John Woodman says:

      You make excellent points, sir!

      And they sound like pretty basic, unarguable points.

      That being the case, they emphasize to me the complete bankruptcy of the Minor v. Happersett argument — and of Donofrio’s and Apuzzo’s position.

  10. Bob Weber says:

    Mr. Woodman: Everything you need to know about Leo Donofrio is in his recounting of his adventures in filing his emergency motion to stop the 2008 election. This is the original link: http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/truce/. The link is dead, but a tech type might be able to find an archive of it. I can supply a copy, if needed.

    Donofrio tells how he’s under surveillance by black helicopters, how he disguised himself and took a Greyhound bus to D.C. to file the motion himself, but he was “made” by a federal agent disguised as a derelict, and was chased by armed men in yellow suits. It reads like a scene from A Beautiful Mind. (He includes an insignia for “Paraclete High School”.) This is the Intellectual Guru of the birthers.

    • John Woodman says:

      You mean this post?

    • John Woodman says:

      I’ll give Donofrio credit for some engaging storytelling.

      Given his past history with “onelovestory,” one doesn’t really know when reading a Donofrio post whether he’s even serious or whether it’s all just “performance art.”

      One can easily imagine him one day saying, “Yeah, I put together this whole birther law thing. I kept it going for years. It was the best performance art ever. I had millions of people believing me! Bwahahaha…”

  11. obsolete says:

    PolitiJim (@politiJim) says:
    February 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

    “You lose all credibility when you say they have no “evidence” of a forgery. Multiple former CIA and FBI agents (just search youtube) have publicly documented dozens of doctored features.”

    No, someone claimed that a bunch of ex-CIA agents are calling the LFBC a forgery. Can you point to one of these ex-agents and their statements? No, Because they don’t exist.

    PolitiJim (@politiJim) says:
    “I’m no “expert” but I took the whitehouse.gov file into Photoshop and ALSO saw multiple layers separating individual letters or elements from the rest of the image.”

    You’re certainly no expert, because opening it in Photoshop WOULD NOT show layers. You’re thinking of Illustrator. “Layers” do not work exactly the same in Photoshop and Illustrator, and serve somewhat different purposes.
    Photoshop would actually be used to construct a forgery, while the layers function in Illustrator exist to try and separate the various elements for easier editing- such as separating text from graphics.
    Try opening a few random PDF files (or even better, scan your own birth certificate, or similar document). The resulting PDF files will open in Illustrator with similar “layers”. Before screaming that a document is a forgery, one should make sure that other documents do not behave in the exact same way.

    Try it for yourself- It is easy to see that I am right, and you are merely repeating false claims made by others.

  12. ###########################

    Your rebuttal to Mr. Apuzzo is excellent. I found the original petition in Kerchner v Obama that was filed on February 20, 2009 in federal court in the New Jersey district. You can download it at SECOND AMENDED VERIFIED COMPLAINT AND PETITION FOR EMERGENCY INJUNCTION, DECLARATORY RELIEF, MANDAMUS, AND QUO WARRANTO. It is 87 pages long. I scanned through the entire document and guess what is not mentioned? Guess what case is not cited? If you guessed Minor v Happersett you would be a winner. Yes, the case that Apuzzo declares “is binding precedent in the definition of natural born citizen” is not even cited in his one and only venture into the courts on the subject. He barely even mentioned the two parent citizen theory. He finally gets around to it in point 201 on page 37:

    201. An Article II “natural born Citizen” is a child born on U.S. soil to parents
    both of whom are U.S. citizens (by birth or naturalization) at the time of the child’s birth.
    ENDNOTE 39.

    Endnote 39 is a very brief reference to de Vattel’s Law of Nations:

    39. “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens (emphasis supplied). E. de Vattel, Law of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 19, Section 212 (1758).

    So just when did Apuzzo discover Minor v Happersett? If this famous case defined for all time who could become the president of the Untied States one would think a constitutional scholar of note like Mario Apuzzo could quote it from memory and it would be featured above all else in the most important case of his life.

  13. ###########################
    I would like to make one correction to my previous comment. The document I linked is actually the Second Amended Complaint filed on 2/20/2009. The original complaint was filed early on January 20, 2009. Apuzzo’s SCRIBD page is confusing. I will see if I can find the original complaint.

  14. Pingback: Mario: Time to Putz up or shut up | RC Radio Blog

  15. Pingback: An Open Letter to Mario Apuzzo | Investigating the Obama Birth Certificate Mystery

  16. Mr. Apuzzo found my article challenging him to take up the Tisdale case pro bono on appeal. He left a long comment to which I replied. http://rcradioblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/mario-time-to-putz-up-or-shut-up/

    One of the things he took issue with is that I found it odd that he failed to cite Minor v Happersett in his complaint in Kerchner v Obama. He said “A complaint is not the place an attorney cites legal cases. The cases are cited in legal briefs. Check my Kerchner legal briefs and you will see it there. ” That is a very odd claim to make for two reasons. First, Mr. Apuzzo cites at least 17 cases in the end notes to his complaint. Second, this was not just any civil suit. This was an emergency petition filed the day of the Inauguration (and amended the following day) that requested the court to

    20. Order defendants and/or similarly situated government entities or officials
    that may replace them to nullify and cancel the election of defendant Barack Hussein
    Obama II as President of the United States if they determine that he is not an Article II “natural born Citizen” as defined by the Court.

    21. Order defendants and/or similarly situated government entities or officials
    that may replace them to take immediate steps to temporarily fill the Office of President and Commander in Chief under the 20th Amendment.

    22. Allow plaintiffs to recover costs, expert witness fees, attorney fees, as may be
    allowed by law; and

    Did you catch that? What the great Constitutional expert Mario Apuzzo was demanding was that the New Jersey US District Court order Congress (whom he had named as a defendant in the case) to remove President Obama from office and install a new president. That would be such a blatant abuse of the separation of powers that to suggest such a thing is laughable. Yet, this is probably the most oft quoted attorney along with Leo Donofrio on the Birther interpretation of Minor v Happersett.

    The courts threw out the case at every level and the SCOTUS refused to even hear it. This is what the three judge panel in the Third Circuit had to say about the case:

    Because we have decided that this appeal is frivolous, we will order counsel for Appellants to show cause why just damages and costs should not be imposed. Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 38 provides that “[i]f a court of appeals determines that an appeal is frivolous, it may, after a separately filed motion or notice from the court and reasonable opportunity to respond, award just damages and single or double costs to the appellee.” “The purpose of an award of attorneys’ fees under Rule 38 is to compensate appellees who are forced to defend judgments awarded them in the trial court from appeals that are wholly without merit, and to preserve the appellate court calendar for cases worthy of consideration.

    Unfortunately, because the case was based on frivolous grounds the court didn’t have to ever rule on the two citizen parent theory directly. The courts followed the screening process they always do to determine if the plaintiffs even have standing to be in an Article III court and determined rightly that Kerchner and the other plaintiffs did not.

    However, just within the last few weeks there have been several jurists who have given opinions directly on point against the two citizen parent theory. In Georgia, Illinois, and the US District Court in Virgina the rulings were that the argument has no validity and President Obama is a natural born citizen. This is exactly the decision reached in Indiana in 2009. The courts are where disputes like these are resolved in our country. Not on blogs. I think the answer is becoming very clear.

    • John Woodman says:

      I think the interaction with Apuzzo (and with “MichaelN”) is very instructive. I do think I would have to disagree with you on a couple of points, though, RC.

      First, it seems to me that the courts can and do tell Congress (and the President) what to do on some occasions. If there were good evidence that Obama were in fact ineligible, I can imagine a federal court attempting to tell Congress what to do. Admittedly, it’s a stretch, but imaginable.

      Secondly, I see the courts as the place where arguments are resolved legally. But the legal realm isn’t the only realm. There are political and cultural realms as well. So while disputes may be resolved legally in the courts, I think that the arena of public discussion — which includes television, radio and now the internet, including blogs — are indeed a place where facts can be hashed out, arguments can be made, and truth can be established.

      I would agree with you, though, about the answer becoming increasingly clear.

  17. willem says:


    IIRC, did not the court record show as a finding of fact the parents in WKA were permanently domiciled in the United States prior to the birth of the child? I am less clear if the parents were naturalized citizens of the United States at the time of the child’s birth. I recall they were certainly foreign born. However, was not the material issue concerning the parents a question of them presenting acceptable evidence to the court they were permanently domiciled residents of the American community in which their child was born and raised by them?

    The more interesting question in the matter of BHO is his “Fact Check” published admission that he was born under the jurisdiction of the British Government a subject of the British Crown by virtue of his Father’s nationality and the British Nationality Act of 1948 which he stated governed the jurisdiction of his birth.

    Unlike the parents in WKA, Papa BHO was never domiciled in the United States. I would be curious to know when his son ceased to be a British Citizen as the option of Kenyan citizenship was apparently never exercised by BHO II. The Kenyan “option” was just that, a limited option to drop British citizenship for Kenyan. No citizen of the crown was forced to become a Kenyan citizen by virtue of the Crown granting Kenyan Independence.

    In treaty and related case law of which I am aware controls to paternal lineage; i.e, the father determines primacy of nationality and national jurisdiction at birth. A mother’s nationality may afford her child some option arising from her nationality, as well. Clearly, he was born a British citizen and subject of the British Crown to a British father under the jurisdiction of the British Government as set forth in the British Nationality Act of 1948. When did he surrender his British Citizenship and cease to be a British national?

    As for your expertise in the computer sciences, what do you think of the alleged scandal regarding selective tampering and excisions discovered in re the claimed “Justiagate” adulterations of SCOTUS records? Have you looked into that issue and the nature of the alleged tamperings?

    • John Woodman says:

      Yes. Wong Kim Ark’s parents were resident in and conducting business in the United States when Wong Kim Ark was born. They were most definitely NOT United States citizens, and as subjects of China it was not legally possible for them to become US citizens.

      According to the Court, the fact that they were domiciled here made for an allegiance strong enough for their child born here to be a natural born citizen — something they themselves could never become.

      I doubt that the Wong Kim Ark Court would have been convinced if the parents had merely been here on student visas — although later Courts might be. For this reason, if both of Obama’s parents had been here on student visas, then I think it would be very debatable as to whether he was a natural born US citizen, and I for one would vote “no” in that instance. However, since Obama’s mother was undeniably a US citizen, I don’t think there’s the slightest chance that any court would ever find Mr. Obama constitutionally ineligible — as long as he was indeed born on US soil. If he had been born overseas, again, other rules would have come into play.

      I don’t think his status as a British subject at birth matters Constitutionally. I think the courts would find it interesting but irrelevant, particularly as he has never lived in the UK, especially since reaching adulthood.

      The Constitutional requirements are: natural born citizen, at least 35 years of age, 14 — only FOURTEEN — years a resident of the United States. Got those? You’re good to go. Now all you have to do is get about 65 million people to vote for you, and you can be President. Piece of cake.

      As for “Justiagate,” first of all, I’ve programmed. Bugs happen, and some programmers are less diligent about finding and weeding them out than others. But that’s not the main thing for me in that issue. The main factor for me is that I really don’t have the slightest doubt that Minor v. Happersett fails to say what Donofrio and Apuzzo claim it says. It just isn’t there.

      Moreover, if you don’t believe the analysis that says — clearly — that there’s nothing there, we should also note that there’s not a single court case — or even a single quote — from any knowledgeable Constitutional authority at any time during the past 135 years — and by “Constitutional authority” I don’t mean an accidents-criminal-defense-and-divorce attorney on the internet — that has ever made the claim that Minor v. Happersett created a binding definition that “natural born citizen” excludes children of resident aliens born on US soil.

      In fact, one of the Constitutional authorities that Leo Donofrio claimed supported the Minor contention said the exact opposite, in the very same book that Donofrio referenced to try and support that claim.

      All of that being the case, there was never anything to “hide” in the first place.

    • Slartibartfast says:

      Wow, are you full of it. Just a few corrections and notes:

      Mr. Wong’s parents could not have become US citizens by US law (the Chinese exclusion act)

      President Obama was born subject to the jurisdiction of Hawai’i–not the British Crown. The British haven’t had jurisdiction in the US since around 1776.

      Barack Obama Sr. was domiciled in Hawai’i.

      Being domiciled in the US is not necessary to the legal argument made in Wong Kim Ark–hence the whole concept of “anchor babies”.

      Leo’s idiotic assertion that a free online database (not an official record of SCOTUS decisions, nor one of the pay databases used by real lawyers–as opposed to dishonest idiots like Leo) covered up a case that Leo has been making obviously false statements about in an effort to build frivolous legal arguments that he’s too much of a coward to use in court by mangling a quote doesn’t survive Ockham’s razor. Justia’s explanation regarding a bad line of regex does.

  18. willem says:

    There is another reason why the eligibility issue will never be resolved in the courts.

    The usurpation was not in the act of installing a POTUS. If there was usurpation, it was the continuing de facto usurpation of the Electoral College by fiat of national popular election of the POTUS.

    That our national presidential election circus is but a spectacular fraud in which trillions are bilked from the public seems to have gotten lost in the birther fiasco.

    Obama was installed as POTUS by the Electoral College electors. The irony? No electoral college candidate ever took a podium and said “Vote for me and send me to the Electoral College to choose the next POTUS.”

    What the birther fiasco has exposed is the intent of our founders and the Constitution regarding NEVER allowing a popular election of the POTUS, and the scale of racketeering between the non-profits, media and Republican and Democratic parties to parasitized and reduced the Electoral College to the shriveled, crippled hind leg of our FOUR branches of federal government.

    The Constitution defines a remarkable and sustainable hysteresis of mutualism. Only sustainable mutualism thwarts monopoly. The mutualism of our nation has been so degraded by the national parties and their sycophant institutions we have entirely normalized the monopoly they hold over our electoral and legislative processes.

    Not one of these non-human alien persons (corporations) can lawfully enter a voting booth and cast a vote, yet their employees and officers preside as “super citizens” who are mostly above the law.

    The political parties, the PACs, the advocacy groups, the unions, the government entities, the corporations, the universities — all are non-human alien persons under the law.

    What citizen has a chance against the hegemony and racketeering enjoyed and operated by the supercitizen-class who dominate these institutions?

    We should be conducting articulate and responsible state-wide campaigns of the Electoral College electors, not the POTUS candidates who we cannot vote for. We are being induced to waste our vote by entities that cannot vote, and being defrauded of trillions in the process.

    • John Woodman says:

      That our national presidential election circus is but a spectacular fraud in which trillions are bilked from the public seems to have gotten lost in the birther fiasco.

      If you ask me, our entire national government, to far too great a degree, is “but a spectacular fraud in which trillions are bilked from the public.”

  19. H. J. Bounel says:


    Try understanding from this simple video John. While you are clearly not a constitutional legal expert, Herb Titus is. You don’t have to look to hard to find the truth, provided you are actually trying to find it Mr. Woodman.

    • gorefan says:

      As are these guys:

      Professor of Law Bruce Ledewitz, Duquesne University School of Law,
      “It has nothing to do with Obama you understand. If you were born here, you’re a natural-born citizen.”


      Professor Jesse Choper, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at UC Berkeley
      “natural born” simply meant “not naturalized.”


      Hawaii was a state in 1961, when Obama was born. Any person born in the U.S. automatically is a “natural born citizen,” said University of California Los Angeles law professor Eugene Volokh


      • John Woodman says:

        Thanks for providing some examples. There are probably many, many more.

        Frederick van Dyne of course comes to mind.

    • John Woodman says:

      Do you really think I haven’t seen that video, Harry? I’ve heard what Titus has to say, and researched WAAAYY beyond that.

      Titus’ points:

      There’s a distinction between a natural born citizen and a citizen by birth.

      No such distinction has ever been recognized by the Supreme Court or by any other US court, as far as I know. Herb Titus’ view is in sharp disagreement with that of other writers. I know of no significant authority who agrees with him. Mario Apuzzo does not count; and Leo Donofrio certainly does not count.

      Titus says the 14th Amendment was not placed there for the purpose of defining a natural born citizen.

      That statement, in itself, is entirely correct. And any claim that it was placed there for the purpose of limiting who a natural born citizen is, is incorrect. Therefore, the 14th Amendment is irrelevant in determining who a natural born citizen is, except that it guaranteed the rights of citizenship (including the rights of natural born citizenship) to persons to whom it had previously been denied.

      As the Supreme Court said in US v. Wong Kim Ark:

      “[T]he opening sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment is throughout affirmative and declaratory, intended to allay doubts and to settle controversies which had arisen, and not to impose any new restrictions upon citizenship.”


      “The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, in the declaration that all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside,

      contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two only: birth and naturalization. Citizenship by naturalization can only be acquired by naturalization under the authority and in the forms of law. But citizenship by birth is established by the mere fact of birth under the circumstances defined in the Constitution. Every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States, and needs no naturalization.

      Titus states that “natural born citizen” was in the Constitution from the very beginning.

      In this, Titus is correct. Yet the Founding Fathers did not define the term. Why not?

      Because all of them had a good idea what it meant.

      Neither the term nor the definition came from Vattel. The passage in Vattel referred to by birthers says “natives or indigenes.” And if the Founding Fathers had been referring to that passage, they would have written,

      “No person except an indigene, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

      The term “natural born” had already existed for centuries, and the Founding Fathers — many of whom were trained lawyers — would have had a very good idea of what it had always meant.

      It came directly from English common law.

      “You are a citizen accordin to the law of nature, because of the very nature of your birth and the very nature of nations and your relationship to the nation.”

      This appears to be the understanding of English common law: that by the natural law set up by God, those who are born in a kingdom are natural born subjects of that kingdom. “Natural born subject” carried over into our country, and became “natural born citizen.”

      “You have to look at what the law of nature would be or would require.”

      All the justices of England, assembled together, did exactly that in 1608. In so doing, they set long-standing precedents as regards membership in a nation, and plainly stated that the child of aliens in friendship, born in the country, was a “natural born subject.”

    • John Woodman says:

      By the way, the above covers ALL of the points I found made by Herb Titus in that video. About the only thing left is his claim that two citizen parents PLUS birth on US soil are required to make a natural born citizen.

      Maybe he intended to make no argument, just give a brief summary of what he thought. Knowing what I know by now, I honestly find that video very, very short on informed facts and discussion.

      I’m sure that Herb Titus, by the way, has no good answer to the facts presented on this page — especially the plain FACT that the Court in US v. Wong Kim Ark “irresistibly” “concluded” that Wong Kim Ark was “natural born” as well as “a citizen.”

      If you think he does, ask him.

  20. Pingback: Unveiled for the First Time: The Birther-English Dictionary! [1] | Investigating the Obama Birth Certificate Mystery

  21. A vet says:

    Despite your verbose often contradictory self aggrandizing opinions condescendingly laced with irrelevant elementary logic, your argument is fatally flawed. First, you opted for Alinsky ridicule rather than factually refuting the expert legal insights of Attorney Donofrio. Nor did you inspire academic awe with your less than lofty rebuttal of Attorney Apuzzo’s legal expertise. Instead you’re embarrassingly content to endlessly expound on a blatantly false premise. You have presented no factual evidence that in any way disproves their core contentions.

    All you offer are numerous unsupported opinions along with repetitive empty assurances that your invalid assertions will be supported by facts presented in another essay, which then directs one to yet another post, and then to a radio blurb or perhaps even a comment section. It would appear that propagating propaganda is your primary intent.

    Reading this site is a tiresome exercise in futility. It lacks logical proof or convincing evidence pertinent to Supreme Court findings, related laws such as United States Congress, Third Congress; January 29, 1795, Sess. II, Chap. 19, 20; 1 stat 414, “An act to establish an uniform rule of Naturalization; and to repeal the act heretofore passed on that subject” or the proper interpretation of Article 2, Section 1, replete with a common sense explanation of the obvious reason why the founders included an exemption from being a “natural born citizen” for “a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution.”

    • John Woodman says:

      First of all, the burden of proof isn’t on me. It’s on those who would insist on changing the meaning of “natural born citizen” from what it’s always been understood to be — that any kid born in America can one day grow up to be President.

      Secondly, if you haven’t uncovered logical arguments and evidence at this site, it’s because you haven’t read the site. Or far more likely, logical arguments and evidence simply don’t matter to you. I know this is a useless point, but I recommend that if you have any inclination to the truth (which you don’t, I know, so I’m wasting my time, but maybe someone else will read this who does), then I recommend you read every word and every comment in this post, in the Open Letter to Mario Apuzzo, in the Rebuttal to MichaelN, and in places linked.

      Third, I don’t get paid to do this stuff. I’ve given literally hundreds of hours of my time to figure out the truth and honestly tell people. If you don’t like the truth, then there are plenty of places that will tell you just exactly what your itching ears want to hear. I recommend WorldNetDaily, The Post & Email, and BirtherReport.com, as well as the blogs of Leo Donofrio and Mario Apuzzo — most of which are heavily moderated and/or censored. There you can live in your birther bubble and maintain your happy fantasy.

      Fourth, believe me, I have FAR, FAR more historical knowledge and evidence and analysis on the meaning of “natural born citizen” than I have so far presented here. Again, sorry, but I don’t get paid to do this. If you want more information, more quickly, then perhaps you will consider providing some financial support to my research and writing.

      Even without being paid, I’ve undertaken a massive amount of research, including this past weekend. Since the forgery theories are all kaput, my attention has turned to the “natural born citizen” claims. What I have found, again and again and again, is that the people making these claims (chiefly Leo Donofrio and Mario Apuzzo) cite sources supposedly in their support that, when you look them up, in fact often contradict the claims being made. For some specific examples, do your reading on this site. And the claim that Minor v Happersett established a binding precedent that “natural born citizen” means what they say it means is just complete hogwash, for reasons often stated elsewhere.

      The thing that I am somewhat surprised to find is that their case is actually weaker than I had realized. The misrepresentation of legal and historical authorities is so blatant and so extensive that a reasonable person might well conclude that it is not accidental at all, but entirely calculated and deliberate.

      Of course, you won’t pay any attention to anything that I’ve written. You, like pretty much all remaining birthers, will continue with your mantras: “You haven’t presented any evidence.” “You’re not an authority.” Blah, blah, blah. On it goes. Any and every excuse to avoid being confronted with the fact that you’ve been sold a bill of goods by snake oil salesmen in plaid suits.

      So go for it. Far be it from me to deprive you of your delusions.

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