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I took a look in on the Freeper Birthers this morning. They were trying to puzzle out why there were 2 versions of their Obama Kenyan Birth certificate. I just glanced at the 2 versions and could have told them why.

But they had "Zotted" me for my very first post on their site a few years ago because I'd told them the truth (politely) as I was answering a question that a hundred of them had already asked without ever receiving a reply. I even posted a couple of pics by way of support for my reply.

It wasn't a truth they wanted to hear or see. For that they "zotted" me. Denied me posting privileges. Ever since then all I can do is watch, and learn.

I checked in again this evening, and they were still at it. It seems they had spent all day and hundreds of posts, (perhaps over a thousand,) convincing themselves that people from Democratic Underground or even the Obama administration itself were flooding the web with minute variations on the "original" Kenyan BC in an attempt to discredit it.

It was painfully funny to read the nonsense these folks were babbling on about - which letters had been changed to what - web research on the new words - etc. An entire day of scurrying about on the web for nothing. As a fellow human being I was embarrassed for them in their blind ignorance. I would have felt it an appropriate act of human kindness to have posted an explanation for them if I had been allowed to do so.  But it was indeed their own desire to remain in uncontaminated ignorance all this time that has kept me from ever posting there again. And I believe they have a right to that ignorance, so long as long as it doesn't interfere with my reality.

Finally, late this evening, one of their "regulars" showed back up and acknowledged loudly that he was the source of the "new" BC. He'd been playing with Photoshop, examining the "original" image and had inadvertently reposted one of his own copies instead of reposting the original. Something I had seen immediately, it was so obvious. The copy wasn't even the same size as the original. But no other changes had been made to it. Just saved in another format at a slightly reduced resolution, causing some characters to appear to be other characters.

Such a simple thing. Yet it was something a thousand Freeperz could not see all day long for one simple reason - they didn't want to see it. They would all rather believe in an evil conspiracy.

I'm not saying there are no evil conspiracies in this world. There are.  I believe there are more than a few of them out there. Hell, I'm not even saying this isn't one of them! But what I am sure of is that as long as Freeperz refuse to listen to anyone other than each other they will never learn a damn thing, buried forever in their own little echo chamber, as evidenced by both their determined ignorance of a few years back and their continuing ignorance of today.

Even as they cry out loudly for answers, demand them in fact, they don't want to hear them, will block them, ignore them, and they will refuse to believe them when they do hear them. They are, and will continue to be, of their own choice, loserz.

I bring this up because unfortunately I see the same sort of thing happening on the left of political center, not nearly so bad, no, not nearly. But I do see it happening. And when I see it, I worry. I don't ever want us to wind up like them. So I'm asking all those who read these words, to listen to the other side. Pay attention. Think.

Think of it as reconnaissance. Think of it as a tedious education in what not to believe. Think of it however you must. But listen, learn. Please, don't be like the Freeperz. It's just not pretty.

Originally posted to John West on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:34 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    -6.88/-5.64 * We won! We won!.... Now back on your heads.

    by John West on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:34:07 PM PDT

  •  If you go there, don't try to talk sense, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snakelass, cee4, Amayi

    instead have some fun and try to out wingnut the wingnuts, try to suggest and lead them to logical absurdities etc.

    I had a whole lot of fun the first days after ther November election (and never got "zotted") but eventually I got bored.  

    Reptiles (a/k/a republicans) have no "empathy"

    by Judgment at Nuremberg on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:38:19 PM PDT

    •  That was the difference between us. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, BachFan, greylox, ardyess

      I took them seriously, however misguided they were. I see them as what they are, my fellow Americans, my community, my neighbors, my family. I have difficulty playing them, tormenting them, because of that.

      -6.88/-5.64 * We won! We won!.... Now back on your heads.

      by John West on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:41:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  **I don't see them as my neighbors, family, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb, MariaWr

        or community.  I COULD listen to them if I did, but I don't.  They're just so full of hate that I can't for a second recognize any kind of humanity in them.  I don't taunt them, I just pity them.  

        **I'm calmer now, and a little bit hopey.

        by greylox on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:26:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      • too (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snakelass, John West, MariaWr

        my zotting moment (am I saying that right?) was when I educated them on the effects of the Gramm, Leach, Bliley Act...really, a minor offense-but they had none of it.
        But these are some things I have learned from lurking and laughing:

        1. Fannie and Freddie are ACTUAL banks. Somewhere in know, with a big sign (probably green), a couple of tellers, a drive-up window...probably even some tootsie rolls in a basket on the counter.
        1. Orly Taitz is a real American Patriot, I think she has a speech impediment, probably from a skiing accident in Montana-oh, Orly loved to ski the mountains growing up in the wilds of Monta...ooops! never mind.
        1. Wtf is a Little Green Football?...j/k-I go there and laugh too, but no birthers...:P
        1. Torture is effective, it also makes the world look up to us, like the kid on the playground that has to give up his lunch money to the guy that just sucker-punched him and then kicked him in the groin. You know...with admiration!
        1. Health Insurers are currently the voice of the almighty...I think this is because, well...OBAMA IS THE ANTI-CHRIST!...and over the next coming months the voice of GOD, and of course, our savior JC(The Farewell Tour!!), will be flowing through the hearts and minds of fellow GOP'ers around the nation (heck, even the globe) as the GOP lynches its way across America. Unseating democracy by disruption (and possibly machine guns) from town hall to town hall.

        Just thought you should know...and yeah...I got carried away...

    •  The best thing to do on Freep (16+ / 0-)

      is to become a Johnny Appleseed of progressively (pun intended) more insane conspiracy theories.  They'll mark you if you move too fast, jumping directly from birferism to UFOs, but if you take a gradual approach you can lead quite a few of them into a paranoid schizophrenic fugue.  Start out with the standard birfer shit, but then start bringing up the Jews and mixing in some Illuminati.  

      From there, it's an easy hop-skip-and-a-jump to UN black helicopters and New World Order, and with the right pirouette you can be breathlessly discussing brain microchips, telepathic spy satellites, alien abductions, and demonic fluoridation schemes with a whole host of perfectly credulous dipshits.

      But the fun doesn't end when you reveal that you've fucked them - leave hints that you've actually been kidnapped by government agents and are under mind control, and are being forced to repudiate the things you had previously revealed.  Manage to sneak a morse code message to them in your final post that leads to an Arby's.  They'll be puzzling it out for the rest of their lives.

      "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

      by Troubadour on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:48:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's kind of funny (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They don't want to listen to us when we speak of facts and truths but we are forced to listen to them spout lies and propaganda through the news... because we all know lies, conspiracies and propaganda is way more entertaining and why let facts get in the way of ratings ?

    In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and Right-Wing bigotry

    by Buddhist Brother on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:42:24 PM PDT

  •  FReeper wingnutz and teh stoopid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tecampbell, MariaWr, ardyess

    a truly mind-numbing combination...

    Hurley - "Bucky, the mice will agree with anything. You guys are all idiots, right?" Mice - "Right!"

    by Dingodude on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:45:38 PM PDT

  •  Feel free to bring facts..., evidence even. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Progressives have always been and should always be a fact-based society.

    But, if you are bringing the CT... sorry, see above.

    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

    by tecampbell on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:53:04 PM PDT

  •  Examples? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tecampbell, Crashing Vor, ardyess

    I mean, besides the obvious (and bannable) example.

  •  Since you were poking around there... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Pray tell... do they STILL think the Aussie Lavender fake BC is real?

    If you answer yes.....


    Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

    by NYCee on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:59:11 PM PDT

  •  Sure. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, Bush Bites, ardyess

    There is, in fact, an Obama HI long-form birth certificate. The state authorities acknowledge it exists and state they have seen it and say that Obama is an American citizen, born in HI.

    However, while the president could get it, with it's additional info released, he has not done so.

    I was reading a "Crooks and Liars" thread where folks were stating that it had already been released, or that it couldn't be released because it no longer existed, etc. Those folks were ignorant. They were wrong. And they were spreading those stories as fact to other readers of the thread.

    I found their assertive ignorance quite embarrassing. It was our own echo chamber. That's when I started thinking about writing this diary.

    -6.88/-5.64 * We won! We won!.... Now back on your heads.

    by John West on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:03:13 AM PDT

    •  Shouldn't you source your facts? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, ardyess

      If you make some points about the long-form birth certificate--it exists, it can be easily produced--that contradict what others are saying, and you're calling the others ignorant, you should really provide the sources to back up your version of the story.

      Otherwise, it's just another set of opinions.

      (Not that I care, frankly. I don't even have the long-form of my birth certificate. I just have the "certificate of live birth" and it's all I've ever needed.)

      •  Here ya go. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bush Bites
        There are, of course, other sources.

        You make my point for me. It's easily found knowledge, but folks in the Liberal community are unaware of it because they have been hearing the opposite from others in the community, and believing it.

        Whether it's important in and of itself doesn't matter. What matters is that it's bad info being recirculated, an echo chamber - like the Freeperz.

        -6.88/-5.64 * We won! We won!.... Now back on your heads.

        by John West on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:29:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here you go. (0+ / 0-)

        Read it all the way through.

        Economic Left/Right: -7.38 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00

        by jvance on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:35:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This says the short form and the long form... (0+ / 0-)

          ...say the same thing as it relates to the issue.

          And I still don't see any evidence that says the long one still exists and can be accessed, as the diarist stated in his comment to me.

          •  Ur not reading it right. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            John West

            Read it again.

            On Oct. 31, 2008, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii Department of Health, issued this statement: "There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.

            "Therefore I, as director of health for the state of Hawaii, along with the registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

            You're right on point one, but neither I nor the OP have said otherwise.

            Economic Left/Right: -7.38 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00

            by jvance on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:38:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think you are mistaken about the "long form" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, LynneK

      I have seen statements from Hawaiian officials who claim there is no such thing as a long form, and that the records are all digital now and the original birth certificate is not available. The only document available is the same thing we all order from our county clerks. Our official birth certificates.

      "Sean Hannity...he's the guy who put the 'a' in moron" - Jed Lewison

      by voracious on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 01:14:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Certificate of Live Birth IS the legal form. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, LynneK

      The so-called "long form" - a birth certificate with the doctor's name, the little footprints, etc. - is a hospital form given to parents as a memento.  In many states, the "long form" never goes the state.  Instead the hospital files an application with the data that appears on the state's COLB.  The state issues a COLB and may then destroy the application, just as many states destroy driver's license applications after they issue a driver's license.

      And that's actually a good analogy for the "birther" demand that President Obama produce his "long form."  When someone asks for your driver's license, you show them the license issued you by the state.  You don't have to also produce a copy of your application, and the results from your written, vision, and driving tests.  Your driver's license is proof that you applied for and passed those tests.

      They may as well be demanding the receipt from his first pair of bronzed baby shoes.

      •  The certification is indeed "a" legal document (0+ / 0-)

        that represents some of the information from the original birth certificate. It does not represent "all" of the information. The state authorities in HI state that they still possess the original document and have reviewed it, but have not released it. They state that the additional info is not relevant information.

        The birthers want to see that additional info. They're hoping to find something in it that is bad for the president. They don't care what.

        As the president, Obama has the power to release it to the public. He is, after all, the president. The information is, after all, about him. But he will not release it. For that matter, he will not allow "any" official records pertaining to his life to be released (ie school records, passport info, etc.) This is indeed a fact.

        It is a fact that is ignored by us and of which the majority of us remain ignorant, simply because we listen to other Progressives and "not" to the facts. That is my concern here, my reason for writing this diary. Like the Wingnutz, we too live in our own echo chamber. That's not healthy for us as Progressives. It weakens us and allows us to be cut off at the knees on occasion, when we could prevent it by paying attention to facts, not each other.

        -6.88/-5.64 * We won! We won!.... Now back on your heads.

        by John West on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 07:39:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not "ignored." (0+ / 0-)

          I'm aware that other government documents related to President Obama exist, such as school records, passport applications, etc., and that he hasn't authorized the relevant agencies to release them.  We progressives aren't ignorant of that fact; we don't pretend it's not true.  We know it's true ...

          ... and it's irrelevant because most elected officials, including most presidents, don't authorize agencies to release every government record about their lives.

          Yes, there's a lot about President Obama's life that is private, just as there's a lot about most elected officials' lives that is private.  We don't get to know everything just because some have decided a black man can't be President of the United States unless he's purer than Ivory Snow.

          The Hawaiian Certification of Live Birth states that it is "prima facie evidence of place of birth."  The burden is not on President Obama to provide more evidence, but on those disputing his citizenship to provide evidence he is not a citizen.  They haven't because they can't; the evidence doesn't exist.  But their inability to find evidence to the contrary doesn't create an additional burden of proof for President Obama.  If they can't disprove his citizenship, then the Certification of Live Birth proves it.  Period.

          If that doesn't satisfy them, that's their problem, and we're not being "like Freepers" when we refuse to keep dancing to their demented tunes until they're satisfied.

  •  Last time I dropped by Freep City was during... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snakelass, ardyess

    their ugly racist Obama kids bashing...

    One regular posted a large photo of his cigar in a brassy looking ashtray, which he claimed had been Saddam's... something he got while in Iraq. Apparently, he likes to kick back and light up his stogie while listening to Rush. And flick his ashes in his war trophy. (Probably some entrepreneurial Iraqi is rolling out fake "authentic" Saddam memorabilia and selling them to warlusting suckers like him...)


    Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

    by NYCee on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:08:15 AM PDT

  •  Bed time. Work in the morning. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Reality holds sway.


    -6.88/-5.64 * We won! We won!.... Now back on your heads.

    by John West on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:16:27 AM PDT

  •  Forget about pity with them- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they're stupid and adamant in their stupidity.  Pity they always confuse with weakness; getting their asses kicked is something they understand clearly.

    Think of them as Gollum in 'The Lord of the Rings'- they too serve a purpose, do things our side can't do.  Only 10% as much for the common good as our team, but it's still vital.  Like Gollum, their major positive contribution is to jump into the fire at the end.

    We have some immoderate and some not real smart people too.  And we too do stuff to fill the time...the deeper elements of public opinion and the American condition change only very slowly.

    The pre-1941 America beloved of the Ron Paul crowd is nearly gone.  The pre-1968 America (which is what McCain and Palin represent, and Obama violates) all those dippy conservative Culture Warriors wish to have endure forever is starting to diminish and look more than a little shaky as an object of nostalgia.

  •  I hate to be rational (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I also despise the radical left. The organic foodies who never respond rationally to any criticism of their point of view. Any and all conspiracy theorists on either side are easily lulled into a fanaticism that is un-productive. However there are some conspiracy theories that meet my criteria for serious discussion/consideration. C-street, Neocons, Military Industrial Complex stuff. In my mind we need to worry about corporate activities the most. Greed based organizations that gain power frighten me.

    "Everybody does better, when everybody does better" - Paul Wellstone 1997

    by yuriwho on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:37:56 AM PDT

    •  So you work for Monsanto, huh? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shenderson, Eclectablog, jgnyc
    •  Organic Foodies aren't necessarily Radical Left (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Banzai77, jgnyc

      since you can find ardent private enterprise organic farmers and some conservatives who do want pure food, untainted by liberal chemists, perhaps some with mind-control objectives. Some of these are the more ardent Ron Paul supporters.  I've known some who are very concerned about honey bee populations, genetically modified foods, and want government to act to preserve the independent family farms raising crops from traditional heirloom seed, etc. versus the faceless agribusiness mega-farms.

      The Radical Left, properly understood, values egalitarianism, collectivism, communalism, socialism, workers rights, unionism, upholds the equality of all persons regardless of orientation, race, creed, seeking to minimize the individual's cost of access to basic necessities of life, and maximizing the sharing of cost of such goods and services across all of society.  It values the good of the social order to be above property and profit rights of private corporations and wealthy individuals.  Our current Democratic Party is, on the whole, very afraid of advocating policies reflective of a truly radical left position, and tends to laud the 'free market', tow a pro-business line, preferring US Chamber of Commerce approval over that of Move On...corporate contributions are a major factor in funding our DNC.

      In a radical left understanding, the class warfare of rich against the poor is a mainstay narrative, and presumably only deemed a wacky conspiracy theory by the lackies of the rich in the mass media.  The role religion may serve as opium of the masses would also be a key narrative element as well.  The subversion of Law to preserve and increase the wealth of the rich versus the worker/poor would also be a factor.

      And, yes, you can flag concerns over the Military Industrial Complex, C-street, neo-liberal conservative Straussians, etc. from within a 'radical left' narrative, but also these can be criticized from other viewpoints--from within the sort of libertarianism of Ron Paul, or from Social Gospel evangelicalism of Jim Walls, Lutheranism, Methodism, Catholicism, and from within a variety of philosophies regarding socio-economic-political organization.

      Believing in 9/11 conspiracies, UFOs, government cover-ups, false-flag wars, conspiracies of small elite groups to manipulate and control the many, supernaturalism, mind-control, voo-doo, etc. is not the exclusive province of either left or right groups.  It's no small task to sort out all the flack, hacks, attacks, mystifications and spin in our media, and I don't expect I'll be working with others, towards a true Democratic Republic with high social values, who have it all sorted out the way I do, or you do, or Kos does, or President Obama.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:22:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? "Organic foodies" = birthers??? (0+ / 0-)


  •  Any examples? (0+ / 0-)

    I bring this up because unfortunately I see the same sort of thing happening on the left of political center, not nearly so bad, no, not nearly. But I do see it happening. And when I see it, I worry. I don't ever want us to wind up like them. So I'm asking all those who read these words, to listen to the other side. Pay attention. Think.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:12:04 AM PDT

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