A Note to a U.S. Voter

Dear neighbour:

I’ve been a little troubled  — a very little as it’s not my country — by some of the sounds I’ve been hearing from down there since your Election Night.  The gloating on one side and the wailing and gnashing of teeth and calls for impeachment on the other are unseemly, I think. And there are stories being told. I have a few questions to ask you about . . . The Truth.

1) Would you like the Truth to be that Mitt Romney is a cult-zombie, Mexican-born, corporate capitalist who hates dogs, women and poor people (when he can manage to make up his mind about anything) who tried to steal the election but even screwed that up?

2) Would you like the Truth to be that Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim Black Panther America-hating apology-tour making diplomat-killer who stole the election?

3) Would you like the Truth to be that 9-11 was an inside job of some sort?

4) Would you like the Truth to be that aliens crash landed at Roswell?

5) Would you like the Truth to be that King Arthur really lived and had a Round Table and knights and so on?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of the above questions then I’d like to tell you gently that the Truth very, very likely lies somewhere else.  If you want something to be true, you need to examine all apparent evidence in favour of that hypothesis infinitely more carefully than evidence for something in which you have no interest.  It’s called “Confirmation Bias”.  Confirmation Bias is a Truth.  I wish it weren’t, but as much as I would like a different Truth . . . you see where I’m headed.

There’s been a lot of confirmation bias flying around down there.  It sometimes seems to be a national pass-time.  Do you want that whole Roswell thing to be about aliens and government coverups?  If you want that then, you should probably proceed on the assumption it was all a balloon-borne Mylar radar target.  That would certainly explain the reports of “tin-foil” that “unfolded itself”.  You want King Arthur and his Round Table to be historical? You should probably assume that the stories are all whimsical elaborations on those few brief mentions in Gildas and the Easter Annals.  You want Obama to be Kenyan? You should probably assume he’s Hawaiian.  You want Romney to be Mexican?  Assume he’s from Michigan.  And, as much as I’d like to think Dick Cheney took down the Twin Towers with his evil laser vision, I’m going to assume it was a dozen and a half young men, mostly from Saudi Arabia.

It’s a Mylar radar target until the little grey bodies are displayed. There have been a lot of calls for birth certificates to be produced, but it seems to me there haven’t been enough.  Where are the calls for the Birthers to produce a Kenyan birth certificate for your President?  Where is Mitt Romney’s Mexican birth certificate?

Again, if you want it to be true, it probably isn’t.  Calm down, for goodness sake!

P.S. For the record:

1) and 2) I don’t really care much about the truths of Obama and Romney, including their birth places.  Their birthplaces shouldn’t matter.  Everyone knows my country’s head of state was born in some foreign country.  Hell, Her Majesty still lives there!

3) see above about Dick Cheney’s laser vision

4) I think it would be kind of cool if aliens had landed at Roswell.  But wariness of Confirmation Bias makes me think they probably didn’t.

5) Yes, I would like it if the Arthurian tales in spite of their inconsistency, were historically accurate.  But liking the idea doesn’t make it true, and all the evidence suggests there isn’t much history in Camelot.


8 comments on “A Note to a U.S. Voter

  1. Liberty4All says:

    Do you want the truth? I would guess that you do. Do I want the truth? Yes, I do. If the truth is that the truth isn’t what I want it to be, it is no less the truth. So be it, I still want to know it.

    If Barack Obama says on one day that he was born in Hawaii and says on another day that he was born in Kenya, then at least one of those is… ( continues here: http://t.co/4OFkxNFI )

  2. anhaga says:

    Thanks for the link, Liberty4All. I have to say that I agree with pretty much everything you write there. I, too, have no interest in what you term “relative truth”. It’s a pernicious outgrowth of ill-understood social sciences. (But I will reserve a respect for the uncertainties, the relativity, of “truth” in the quantum world.) I was not, however, speaking of any relativity of truth in the macrocosmic world. Yes, Barack Obama was born in a single place. I don’t know (or much care) where that place was. My suspicion, based on the little bit of evidence I’ve seen, is that he was born in Hawaii a few months before I suspect I was born in Ottawa, Ontario. I don’t know that I was born in Ottawa, but my birth certificate, my parents, and my two older brothers seem to agree on that narrative, so I proceed on that assumption. My point in my post is not that the Truth is relative. It’s not. What is, however, relative is the weight properly attributed to various bits of evidence — often contradictory — we have of Truths removed from us in space and/or time. My point in my post is that all too often we give two much weight to evidence, even when very weak, which supports the idea of Truth we desire and two little to evidence, even when very strong, which suggests the Truth is not what we would like it to be. That’s confirmation bias. But confirmation bias is not “relative truth”, rather, it is a flaw of reasoning which should be avoided. I suggested that a way to avoid confirmation bias is to be honest with oneself about one’s wishes and then to be ultra critical of evidence which supports a “truth” we desire.

    And, off the topic a little (or maybe not): I mentioned to you elsewhere the fact that Mitt Romney’s father George ran for the GOP Presidential Nomination in ’68 but dropped out of the race after some ill-advised comment about being brainwashed. But, before he dropped out, he had bragged about being born in Mexico. Everyone acknowledged he had been born in Mexico. He was embraced as a candidate despite being a natural born Mexican. The Truth is that being born outside the country has already been determined to not be a disqualifying factor for candidacy for the U.S. Presidency. This Truth was proven by Mitt Romney’s father in 1968 (and by Panama John McCain four years ago, by the way). What I don’t understand is why, given the precedent in recent U.S. history of George Romney’s candidacy there has ever been an issue with President Obama’s birthplace, where ever that may be. I can’t help but think that there are a bunch of people who:

    a) want the Truth to be that Mr. Obama is Kenyan
    b) want the Truth to be that an American born outside the U.S. is disqualified from the Presidency.

    I really don’t get it.

  3. Liberty4All says:

    Anhaga, If I might be so bold as to say, the reason you say you “don’t get it” is because you are focused on the wrong questions. Hence, you are not finding the right answers, that is, the answers that lead you to the truth of the matter. You are focusing on the side-issues, the distractions that have been created and perpetuated by certain groups including America’s decidedly biased left-leaning mainstream media. It will take more than a few words but if you will bear with me, I will share with you some keys to my understanding in this matter.

    First, let’s get rid of some distractions. To set this ‘tiny’ tidbit aside first, your acceptance of “relative truth” at the quantum level has nothing to do with philosophy or the principles which reside at the core of the question of whether or not truth matters and, in this case, how it pertains to Barack Obama. Because of that, beyond this text, I won’t be distracted by the questions of the behavior of subatomic particles although I do find that an interesting topic for its many implications, potentially reaching beyond the physical into the spiritual realm.

    At best, one might think the unexplained behavior of quarks offers a back door should it ever be needed to validate the concept of relative truth. But, the fact that a quark can be determined to be either light or matter or both, or that it can be determined to be in two places “at once” only offers evidence that Man’s current understanding of the physical universe is limited to what we can measure by the means available to us at this time. After all, we admit that while there may be other theoretical dimensions, we only have the ability to measure a few, and the physical devices capable of measuring the physical dimensions are quite simply, limited by today’s technology and beyond that, quite possibly by their own self-defined limitations.

    While there may be real and measurable limits imposed upon us by the physical world in which we exist, we also create further limitations by way of our own thinking, but even the wildest of imaginations or the best of human minds cannot successfully argue using classic logic that something is both true and false at the same time. To demonstrate, consider the utter absurdity of the statement routinely used to support the idea of relative truth: “All truth is relative.” That statement itself cannot be proven true by way of logic or rational thought. Logically, it is of no value.

    Back to the issue at hand… it seems that your main point, as you emphasized, is that “all too often we give two much weight to evidence.” If that is what you believe, it may be that you’ve not yet considered enough evidence or had enough life experiences upon which to draw your conclusions. More on that in a moment.

    I don’t care which place Obama was born, just as I pointed out I don’t care where Romney was born. They both could have been born on Mars, even to the same mother, but that doesn’t matter with regard to the issue of truth. What matters is when someone attempts to hide the truth, as Obama has done, and routinely does. It also matters when people accept, either knowingly or unknowingly, falsehood as truth. If the reader doesn’t agree at all that truth matters, there’s really no point in reading the rest… Finding a ‘good’ irrational argument among Atheist viewers on YouTube might be a more entertaining way to use your time.

    Anhaga, it seems to me that you may be assuming that my reason for wanting to find ‘the truth I want’ is based on a predetermined bias I have against Mr. Obama. If so, your assumption is incorrect. May I assume that your assumption may be incorrect due to your own bias in this matter? I hope that doesn’t offend you. But, it would be curious if you were to be offended by that, since ‘predetermined bias’ is found at the root of your presentation in your original post.

    More so, in fact, you stated that you are basing your opinion “on a little bit of evidence.” Should one who has more than “a little bit” be considered more or better informed than one who has a little or none at all? Promoters of relative truth as a concept say no but I would say yes, assuming evidence has not been falsified, more is better than less in finding truth.

    But, if someone suggests that evidence isn’t that important or isn’t of main concern, he is lying to himself, at least from a philosophical position if his argument is at all based on principle.

    The day you are hauled into a court with false accusations against you, you will believe that evidence is important. In fact, only a very stupid (or insane) person in such a circumstance wouldn’t understand that evidence is the MOST important thing, as it presumably, could be the only thing that might save him from a false judgement or imprisonment, possibly even death.

    In such an instance, the defendant would be most disconcerted to learn that evidence that would reveal the truth of his innocence might have been distorted, ignored, hidden or destroyed in order to keep it out of court. How would you feel if a judge told you “evidence doesn’t matter in your case?” It is safe for one to assume that, in such a case, knowing the truth of the matter would become most important to you.

    So, unless I am incorrect in my assumption there, you are not arguing your point from the standpoint of principle but instead, from the standpoint of a particular instance. You might ask yourself then, might that be evidence of your own predetermined bias in the Obama matter?

    Speaking only to the principle of the matter, if you can honestly say that you are disinterested in knowing the truth about Obama’s birthplace, it simply demonstrates one or more of the following:

    a. You believe that the outcome based on evidence doesn’t affect you
    b. You don’t care that the outcome based on evidence might adversely affect someone else
    c. You are happy with knowing that you do not know the truth, the old “ignorance is bliss” argument

    If one of the above apply to you, your thinking and mine differ quite substantially. I do believe it matters to me personally and also matters to others, that they will be adversely affected by such an erroneous or dishonest cause and, as I’ve said before, I do care to know the truth, whether or not it is what I want to hear.

    Speaking to the issue of bias, I would argue that no person can be completely unbiased about just about anything, and the more important or vital a matter and the more likely it is to personally affect him or someone he knows, the more biased he is likely to be.

    Going beyond that, altruism also matters to those who want to know truth. For the altruistic, the principle of doing unto others as you would have done unto you applies. If “I am my brother’s keeper” even if a matter doesn’t personally affect me or someone I know, I still care that it might affect someone I don’t know, most especially, if it affects them adversely or if an injustice is being done to him. “What goes around comes around” is more than just a trite saying. The fact that Jews were murdered in Hitler’s Germany also affected those who are not Jewish and history shows us that if someone doesn’t stand to protect his neighbor from tyranny, his life may be the next one threatened and possibly, there will be no one left to protect him.

    But just because bias is natural is not to say that a person isn’t unable to overcome bias in order to find truth, assuming that knowing truth is a higher goal than finding what one wants, regardless of whether or not it is true.

    If the task given you is to enter a room and collect all of the red balls, but no other objects, you will enter

    1. expecting to find red balls
    2. looking for spherical objects
    3. looking for red objects
    4. attempting to discern which objects are both spherical and red
    5. discarding the other objects from your ‘result’

    Those will be your assumptions. Does this constitute a bias toward red balls, or against them? Not at all. They are simply your beginning assumptions, all necessary for completing your task. If you have any bias at all, it will be thinking that, since you were directed to find red balls in the room, that some actually exist. Either that or that the purpose of the exercise is an attempt to eliminate such possibility ‘for the record’ or you have been misdirected.

    But, if you exit the room carrying a bag full of red balls and you have collaborating evidence that the object are both spherical and red, then that demonstrates the fact that there were red balls in the room when you entered. Of course, an exception might be if someone placed red balls in the room after you had searched. So, from this we might determine logically that the truthful result is the one that serves your purpose best and it would be reasonable to question why someone might try to taint the evidence were that to happen.

    If you go to Hawaii, instructed to find Mr. Obama’s (legitimate) birth certificate, yes, you will be looking for it. If you go to Kenya looking for one there, yes, you’ll be looking for it. If you look both places and find none, of course, it isn’t proof that one doesn’t exist in either place so you may need to rely on other evidence, conclusions others provide or it may be necessary for practical reasons to consider the search ‘unreasonable’ or ‘impossible’—though incomplete—and drop the search. But, the fact is, whether or not one exists, if you don’t find it, then you have no evidence that it exists. This is the situation of Obama’s birth certificate. There is no evidence that a legitimate birth certificate exists in Hawaii, based on these facts, which can all be easily verified ‘with a little bit” of research.

    I will provide six main points here, beginning with five that directly relate to the Obama birth certificate issue.

    1. No legitimate/original birth certificate was found (by multiple people/groups who looked). The only certificate claimed to have been found was a certificate later determined to be fake. That was found by a group claiming to be “unbiased fact seekers.” They also happen to be of Liberal political persuasion and Democratic. Make what you wish of that, based on your own biases.

    In yet another case of presumably biased desires, a ‘Photoshopped’ digitally-created document (not scanned from any physical document) was uploaded to the White House website and presented to the public as a ‘genuine’ article. This was done presumably because no physical document existed that could be scanned. One such image was claimed to be a scan of a real paper document; it was later proved to have been faked. Evidence of fraud in this instance has been repeatedly proven by various document and graphics experts, some of which were “on Obama’s side” of the argument. For truth seekers, that’s probably one of the biggest problems with this situation. We might reasonably consider the these:

    a. Why would someone fraudulently create such a document of national and international significance and present it as something other than it actually is?

    b. Why would the White House (Mr. Obama’s responsibility) not only ignore such a fraudulent action but pretend that the document was genuine. I don’t know about you, but if I walked into a room and found that someone had colored its walls with crayon, I’d begin looking for crayons and most likely, children.

    If truthfulness exists at the White House, common sense apparently doesn’t apply there. That would be a secondary problem for some who consider the office of the President of the United States to be arguably, the most powerful position in the world. Only a fool would give the codes to nuclear missiles to a person with such poor judgement or so little truthfulness or common sense.

    2. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie has stated for the record that no birth certificate exists in Hawaii’s birth records. He stated specifically that he looked for himself and, in fact, he stated in his gubernatorial election campaign that if he was elected, he vowed to find the birth certificate to “put the matter to rest.” So, presumably, he actually did make an attempt. At the least, he seemed embarrassed by the fact later that he had admitted he failed to find it. Does it matter that Abercrombie is a friend of Obama’s and also a member of the same Democratic political party? I think that’s a good question; it might seem interesting to one who wants to find the truth. Why would a friend act against Obama rather than for him? What might his motive be to fail in such an attempt?

    3. Tim Adams, former State of Hawaii Board of Elections clerk has signed a legally binding affidavit under oath and penalty of perjury stating that no Hawaii birth certificate exists for Obama. If this is not a true statement, then why has he has never been hauled into court for slander, libel or any other crime against the President of the United States? Curiosity is a sign of intelligence. Why is no one in the Obama administration curious about this? Why is no one in mainstream media curious? Are they unintelligent? Or do they have predetermined bias that keeps them from exploring it or revealing what they found when they did explore it? One might think “a little bit” of common sense could answer those questions.

    4. The State of Hawaii has taken legal steps to prevent others from even requesting copies of Obama’s birth certificate. Yet, someone can request another person’s birth records from the State of Hawaii without any hindrance. Why the difference for Obama’s records? Isn’t that a fair and reasonable question, assuming a certificate actually exists? If one doesn’t exist, yes, I would understand why they wouldn’t want to be continually bothered for a copy of a non-existent document. I wouldn’t want that either. Once I have looked in the room for red balls and have found none, I don’t want you to keep coming to me every day to ask “Where are the red balls you found?” This is nothing more than not-so-common common sense.

    5. Obama has spent upwards of $2 million to intentionally hide his birth and school records from the public. Those are records that theoretically, could hold evidence proving that he is a citizen of Indonesia (most likely) or somewhere else. Yes, it’s possible they might prove he is a U.S. citizen, but if that’s the case, why would he spend millions to hid such information that would help his case? Put yourself in that courtroom again from the earlier example. How did you answer the question of how you would feel if you were on trial but knew that evidence that would free you was intentionally hidden or destroyed? Are you really willing to apply a double standard to Obama? If so, I would say you really do not care about truth at all and thus far, have been wasting your time reading since the first paragraph. Let’s apply some common sense here, too.

    We’ll look a the sixth point but first, imagine, if you will, that you hired an employee, then came to learn that he was intentionally hiding vital information from you or had falsified documents or presented opposition to your inquiries into the truth of the matter. Common sense applies here, too. You would fire him for such actions. Obama is not “Emperor” or “King” or even “Queen.” The United States doesn’t have offices tied to royalty as some other nations do. If we want to “see the Queen’s undies” as they say, by law, we should be able to. In the case of Barack Obama, in spite of his failed promises (some say “his lies”) to provide the most transparent government ever, it is that he doesn’t even have any clothes. He only has the $2 million dollar mask behind which he hides the truth of his identity.

    More so, a person who becomes U.S. President is an elected official and hence, technically by law, a servant of the people of the United States. By the U.S. Constitution, our rule of law is established “of the people, by the people and for the people.” It can’t be compared to a Canada or a United Kingdom. They are not on the same playing field, their rules of law are different. The U.S. Constitution that Obama continually tramples on he does illegally. He is not above the law, any more than the lowest civil servant is. That’s the legal theory taught in law schools at least.

    If a person from another country with different rules doesn’t understand these differences, they might at least try to take an altruistic approach, to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, specifically someone who does care about truth and justice, freedom and liberty, the things upon which the USA was founded, the things that have made the USA the country others run to when they are oppressed by their home governments.

    But, you can toss out the window just about everything I’ve said so far about the birth certificate if you wish. While most of Obama’s lies and coverup primarily involve the birth certificate, it is simply a distraction from the real issue.

    Here is point #6, the most important thing missed of all, and the #1 thing ignored by mainstream media:

    Barack Obama is not legally eligible to hold the office of President of the United States, not because of his lack of a birth certificate, not because he was born here or there, Hawaii, Kenya or Mars, but because he is not a (warning: legal term coming) Natural Born Citizen. This is because his father (the Barack Obama, Sr. who Obama has claimed in his writings and speeches as his father) was not a U.S. citizen. Should it make any difference, which it doesn’t, neither was Obama’s step father, Lolo Soetoro, who was a citizen of Indonesia. Since the beginning of recorded history, a person inherits citizenship from his parents and it remains unless he changes his citizenship through some provided legal means. Obama has never done that. By law, he is not only not a Natural Born Citizen with its certain requirements, but he is also not an American citizen. The Constitution of the U.S. doesn’t allow either foreign OR dual citizens to become President. It doesn’t matter if that isn’t the law in Canada, England or Australia, that’s the law in the U.S. The only ones who oppose this thought are those who believe that all truth is relative, so take that for what it’s worth logically: nothing.

    But, I don’t expect the reader to believe this just because I say. But you can believe it (if you allow yourself to set aside your bias) because the evidence is found in the Congressional Record of the United States Congress. Barack Obama was not legally eligible in 2008 to become President. It’s all in the public record. This is truth that can’t be ignored (unless, of course, you choose to be called intentionally ignorant or deceived). I sincerely hope you don’t want to be called those things, so I hope you will check the evidence listed here, apply some common sense and logic, use your intelligence, allow yourself to develop some curiosity and you will be better off for doing so. This is the necessary information in front of your eyes, not the distraction of birth certificates or other deceptions created by Obama, his administration or the mainstream media. The only remaining question is, can you allow yourself to see it?

    Video (short version, the basics that explain why Obama is not eligible and how Congress knew this in 2008): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=H3aCfR8rmrw

    Full text, a detailed and well-documented exposition of the Congressional facts:

    For my argument here, I have assumed that Barack Obama own words about who his father is are true. Yes, that may be an erroneous assumption, I realize, but it’s the best evidence we have. The people who might have had information to the contrary (conveniently) cannot be asked because they are no longer living. Obama’s mother is no longer living. His grandmother would certainly have known but she died the night before the 2008 election.

    But, if Obama’s father is someone else, then he has committed just as bold a fraud on the international community. The fact that more don’t care indicates that either they are ignorant (uninformed), misinformed (certain, in some cases) or truly don’t care about truth, in which case, they could rightly be called immoral. Go back to the day you stood in front of that hypothetical judge in the example above. Wouldn’t you consider it immoral if the judge was “in on the corruption” that hid or destroyed evidence to wrongly put you in prison?

    So, let’s look at the evidence if we’re truly interested in knowing the truth of the matter. Let’s not tell ourselves little lies like “truth doesn’t really matter” or “fraud doesn’t really matter” or “it’s not like he committed some major crime, like he murdered someone” (there would be some doubt about that statement, too) because, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that, were such crimes perpetrated against us or our children, parents or siblings, we would certainly say it does matter and “I want and expect justice from the court.” And, if any person or group attempts to thwart your search for the truth, it would be fair and reasonable to ask why, just as you would want to ask the judge why the evidence in your matter before the court was deemed irrelevant.

    So, it isn’t that I WANT Obama to be Kenyan, neither that I WANT him to be Indonesian or even Martian (though that certainly would be quite interesting). I really don’t care where he was born. But, I do care that he has hidden the truth and lied to the American people and to the international community about who he is, his birthplace and other key parts of his history.

    I care that what we know from the lies he has told us, that the truth is presumably, far worse, which is why he has kept it hidden it from us. The indisputable facts, for those who have studied and become truly informed in this particular situation of Obama’s questioned eligibility for office of US President, show that Obama gained the office of the President of the United States without legal means. To say that none of these things matter denies the values of morality and rational thought, the main two things that Man can claim as advantages over animals. Otherwise, why don’t we just act like wild dogs and just kill each other, the fittest to survive? Hopefully you wouldn’t condone such an inhumane idea. I couldn’t.

    While I could easily provide links to evidence supporting each and every claim I’ve posted here, I will leave it to the reader to do his own research. The information is out there, it is all in the public record. Google has all of these things indexed and the reader should have no trouble finding it by drawing from phrases and names in this post. Of course, if the reader isn’t interested in finding the information due to his own predetermined biases, it’s quite possible he won’t find it or even search for it. But the truth is out there and can be known with “a little bit” of effort along a sincere desire to want to know the truth.

    The exercise of learning to search for information, doing the research, is valuable and I encourage every person to learn it well. We live in the Age of Information. This makes it particularly ironic, that certain essentially important information would be so difficult—or impossible—to find as Obama has made his own records.

    And, after researching this yourself, you find that you’re really not interested in knowing the truth, then you have again, been asking the wrong questions. The questions are:

    1. Is truth important? If you say “no” then,
    2. The day the judge says truth doesn’t matter “in your case” who will you cry to?

    In that case, don’t cry to me. I don’t care who your Emperor, King or Queen are if they have already been determined to be corrupt and you said you didn’t care. That’s your choice. If it is ever decided by the general population that truth doesn’t matter, government will be free to use lies against you, whichever and however many it chooses—and you will have no recourse. End of story.


    “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.”—George Washington

    “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”—George Orwell

    “Truth exists, only falsehood has to be invented.”—Georges Braque

  4. anhaga says:

    I haven’t read the whole thing, I confess, but you have quoted me absurdly out of context. You say that I say “all too often we give two much weight to evidence.”

    In fact what I say is: “My point in my post is that all too often we give two much weight to evidence, even when very weak, which supports the idea of Truth we desire and two little to evidence, even when very strong, which suggests the Truth is not what we would like it to be.”

    Do you see the difference? I’m not talking about what the Truth is. I’m talking about how best to determine the truth, and, most particularly, I’m talking about a single tool amongst what I hope is a large kit which we should all be using to help us judge the validity of various bits of evidence we are confronted with in this world.

    As I mentioned, I’ve only skimmed your long reply (and I am grateful for the reply and I will peruse it more carefully later) but another thing you seem concerned about is my concern or lack thereof about the place of Mr. Obama’s birth. I’ll say it clearly. I don’t care. And the reason I don’t care is because the United States of America is not my country, the U.S. Constitution is not my constitution, Mr. Obama is not my President. I don’t even have a President!

    And, you seem to be obsessing about Obama. I tried in my original post to offer a number of examples, one from each side of the political spectrum, two about popular U.S. conspiracy theories, and one about Medieval British History with the clear (I thought) intention to make the thing about Confirmation Bias rather than about where the Hell the President was born! I don’t care where he was born, I don’t know where he was born, I don’t particularly want to know where he was born. As a Canadian, I am quite content to have the birthplace of the President of the United States, or the Prime Minister of Sweden, or the King of Jordan be comfortably resting in a box marked Schrodinger. Those are not Truths I care passionately about.

    But, I hope that those who do care passionately about such things have a little thing called “Awareness of Confirmation Bias” hanging from their tool belt.

    I’ll try to be even more clear:

    I don’t care where Obama was born! I do, however, care strenuously about the Truth and so, I care passionately that people equip themselves with all the tools needed to learn what the Truth is in life, the universe and everything. One of those tools is an awareness of confirmation bias. That’s all I was and am saying.


    • anhaga says:

      Okay. I’ve read it slightly more carefully. Most of it is arguments against things I didn’t say — we are agreeing very loudly! 🙂
      Okay. A problem you have is that Obama lied. I won’t argue with that. I don’t know.
      You suggest that because Obama’s mother was a U.S. citizen but his father wasn’t then, regardless of his birthplace he isn’t a ‘Naturally born citizen’. Implicit in this is that George Romney, Mitt’s father and eligible candidate for President, who was by his own acknowledgement born in Mexico to parents who were both U.S. citizens — what? What is implicit in this fact? That *both* parents must be U.S. citizens? That the father must be? I don’t know. I’ve read expert legal opinions that suggest that having a single U.S. citizen parent is enough to make one “Naturally born”. One thing that is very clear is that the Constitution does not define “Naturally born”.

      But, I will ask you, hypothetically, if you had been standing in a delivery room in Honolulu in August of 1961 and somehow witnessed little Barack being born, would you today be content with him as President?

      (I’m still not sure about your “life experience” shot at me, BTW. I would have thought a half century of life, including single parenthood of a 19 year old girl with intellectual and physical disabilities, graduate degree, scholarly and other publications, political activity, small business success . . . I would have thought that might have given me a wee bit of “life experience” 🙂 )

      I just realized something. You don’t think the post was specifically addressed to you, Liberty4All, do you? I hope not! I have friends and relatives and colleagues all over the U.S. The post was addressed to anyone who felt they were “a U.S. voter”, whatever side they might be on on whatever issue, anyone who might fall victim to confirmation bias. Indeed, it’s a reminder for non-USAians as well, including myself.

    • Liberty4All says:

      In the context of one basing his opinions on “a little bit” of evidence or having “bias” that affects someone’s decisions, I found it quite ironic to read your reply, beginning with the part that says you haven’t read all of my post. It appears you may have stopped before reading beyond quarks. Hopefully I didn’t bore you with that part.

      And, an FYI (not just for you but for everyone; I refer to “reader” as emphasis) when I post something to a public forum, I am hoping others might read it, too, and be informed, possibly where they were not before. If you thought I was simply writing for your benefit only, I’m sorry to burst your bubble. The hard reality is that, for a single person, I wouldn’t spend that much time without a greater purpose or objective.

      But, most amusing was your statement about me “seeming to obsess” about Obama. You would have a better point if I’d written nothing about Obama since he is the primary subject—by way of his election victory—at the heart of your original post. Without “Mr. Obama”, you would not have written your blog entry.

      Frankly, you have me scratching my head with your reply. Maybe another reader can explain it to me… or you.

  5. Liberty4All says:

    Just a couple of quick comments, then I’m off to the real world, where evidence forms the basis of sound analysis and truthful conclusions.

    Each person has the right (outside of what a judge instructs a juror, of course) to accept, ignore or deny any evidence presented to him or her. Your choice seems to be to ignore or deny much in order to satisfy your own greater desire to make the facts in this particular matter fit into your own little “bias box” while you carelessly criticize others of having bias. That’s called hypocrisy. Where I have carefully laid out evidence that can easily be verified, you choose to ignore it.

    Regarding life experiences, I meant no insult, as you seem to have inferred. I meant not to imply that quantity of experiences over time was more valuable in and of itself that the value of certain experiences. Every person has his own struggles in life. But, particular life experiences provide particular understandings and perspective. No doubt some of yours and mine are similar but not all.

    I admit that I haven’t read your other blog entries yet, so I may be lacking some understanding by not being more familiar your writer’s voice. Quite frankly, I don’t think I have any interest at this date, but I do wish you well, and especially hope for your understanding of my main exposition above as it appears that my main points have been missed entirely. Maybe for another reader, it will make more sense. One can hope.

    But, most importantly, if you can carefully read the Congressional Record evidence found in the linked article at http://thepatriotsnews.com (not my website, by the way) and still come away thinking that US citizens should have no problem accepting Obama as a legitimate president, then obviously your understanding of the US Constitution is lacking and possibly you don’t understand what the word legitimate means in a legal context. You certainly have not applied much common sense or rational thought to the legal aspects of this issue so far.

    I sincerely hope, should you ever be called before a judge, that ALL of the evidence will be available, truthful and honestly considered prior to the judge’s or jury’s decision. Likewise, I hope for the same in Obama’s case. His presumed status as President doesn’t put him above the law in this country. I care about justice for all and will fight for exactly that.

    Wishing you the best.

  6. anhaga says:

    Just a quick summary and then I too will twitch my mantle blew:

    Yes, my post was prompted by Election Night and, more, by the birthplace arguments I’ve noticed on both sides. In an attempt to make clear that my post was about Confirmation Bias in general and not about birthplaces in particular, I offered five examples of historical questions about which people can be found who hold strong opinions on opposite sides. And, in the interests of honesty, I mentioned what opinion I held on each of those questions and tried to give some indication of how strongly I held that opinion and what the strength and direction of my confirmation bias would be.

    Somehow at one point you seem to have misread my clear statement about judging appropriate weighting of contradictory evidence as some sort of dismissal of any role for evidence. Somehow you seem to have come to the conclusion that I subscribe to some doctrine of “Relative Truth”, which I certainly do not. My point, again, is not about the relativity of Truth, it is about how we judge the relative value of contradictory evidence in a quest to understand the Truth.

    As for obsessing about Mr. Obama’s birthplace:

    I mentioned five historical questions. You have written several quite long and detailed replies, included links, concerning just one of those questions. That’s fine. It’s something you’re interested in. I’m not particularly interested in that question. You probably aren’t much interested in the questions surrounding the historicity of Arthur. It is a bit of an interest of mine. De gustibus . . .

    Now, to fresh woods and pastures new.

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