Romney picks Ryan

IMHO, he has missed a great chance to “broaden the base” via picking Rubio.

The US Hispanic community is split. On some things, very conservative (traditional Catholic values, for example) on the other, well over on the Liberal (American Social Liberal, not European Traditional Liberal that is more like US Libertarian) side.

With a Rubio “pick” he could have moved a larger portion of the “minority” vote into the Republican camp (likely for generations to come). Via picking Ryan, he is largely picking a “mirror of himself”. Two “white guys” both being slimed on the same points. Narrowing the appeal and sharpening the attack at the same time.

Oh Well.

Democrats are out already attacking Ryan based on his “philosophy” being based on “an atheist writer” Ayn Rand and playing the “destroy Medicare” card. Oddly, also asserting that he is “like Sara Palin” and “never had a real job outside of government” (despite his early work years at regular jobs).

Instead, we could have been treated to the spectacle of Democrats trying to slime a Hispanic… Alienate the whole group in the process. Romney really needs someone who understands hardball Chicago Politics on his advisor team.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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85 Responses to Romney picks Ryan

  1. adrianvance says:

    Marco Rubio’s parents were not American citizens at the time of his birth thus Marco could be VP, but serve as President. Nonetheless, I have hoped Romney would pick him and the Democrats would spend $1 million suing him off the ticket Romney would ignore the suits, rather waste the money on a loser, Rubio would withdraw tearfully and piss off all the Latinos on Obama then Paul Ryan would step in with his plan to save America and win the election!

    Read The Two Minute Conservative at When you speak ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.

  2. omanuel says:

    If he had picked Rubio or Ron Paul, he might have delayed an eruption of our severely distressed society .

    I do not blame the egomaniacs that run countries,
    Nor poorly educated ordinary citizens for believing
    Misinformation provided to them as scientific facts,
    , , ,

    But this system is now headed for collapse and then leaders of the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK’s Royal Society, the UN’s IPCC, The Nobel Prize Committee, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, U Chicago, Caltech, UC-Berkeley, etc. and the editors and publishers of Nature, Science, PNAS, MPRS, JGR, BBC, PBS, Time, Newsweek, The NY Times, etc., will be asked why they supported false illusions of power in mentally deranged world leaders

    Instead of supporting the common best interest of all society?

    1. We all want world peace.
    2. An end to racism and nationalistic warfare.
    3. An end to the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation.
    4. Cooperative efforts to protect Earth’s environment and bounty.
    5. Governments controlled by the people being governed, including.
    6. Transparency and veracity (truth) of information given to the public.

  3. BobN says:

    I believe this is a very good pick as Paul Ryan is the only one that actually submitted a budget proposal that had actual cuts. The Democrats will try to scare all the old people that they will lose all their benefits, watch for it.

    Rubio is a good guy, but he isn’t a natural born citizen. Both parents were not citizens at the time of his birth.

    Ron Paule – Love his audit the FED ideas, but his foreign policy views scare the heck out of me.

    I think this is a good move, but I guess I’m a glass half empty kind of guy. I’m not sure things can be turned around as I think a full blown crash is coming. Hope I’m wrong.

  4. Tregonsee says:

    “Rubio is a good guy, but he isn’t a natural born citizen. Both parents were not citizens at the time of his birth.” HUH!! He was born in Miami, Florida. By law, and tradition, that is as native born as it gets.

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    There’s a point of view that says “natural born” must have US born parents. I don’t really understand it and have not “dug into” it (as it is just not something that’s a common belief) but what little looking I did it looked like it had plausible roots. Someone needs to take the time to sort it out; but even if true it’s a near impossible up hill battle to get the idea accepted.

  6. Pascvaks says:

    IMHO Romney could have picked anyone from a Ron Paul, a Rubio, a Ryan, a Rice, or even a dead duck, each would have given him a little something extra (well except the dead duck perhaps;-) but it’s all about Romney. If he can’t convince the majority that he’s the answer for the next four years he (and we) are toast. From what I’ve seen today, and I haven’t watched much, Romney is busting out of the mud he’s been stuck in the past few months; he’s ‘refreshing’. Let’s see how long it lasts. The Mob from Chicago are experts at character assasination, crowd control, graveyard registration and ballot-box stuffing (aka ‘Getting Out The Vote’), and mayhem management (firebombing to Legal Challanges, etc.); it’s too soon to judge but let’s ‘hope’ (even though it’s not a real option;-) Romney and the Goppers start playing Hard Ball to win and can convince the country’s independent voters they do have an answer worth voting for.

    (PS: “Lord I know we’ve been here before and when we get in a real pickle we keep coming back asking You to bail us out of problems we created ourselves, but honest, this time, just once more, if you would, please let Romney win!”)

  7. BobN says:

    @Tregonsee – The only person that is subject to the Natural born requirement is the President of the United States. There are several SCOTUS cases that point to the requirement of both parent requirements. It may not be fully settled until Obama or some future president has the issue brought before the supreme court. From everything I have read I believe Obama to be ineligible for the Presidency, but their isn’t a Federal judge that will touch the issue, they fear for their jobs.
    There have been hearings set to address this issue, but the judges suddenly cancel the hearings, Pressure has been applied and they caved.

    To your Comment, Rubio is Native born for sure, but the requirement is or Natural born. For now its a dead issue with Ryan being the VP candidate.

  8. Paul Ryan has a line from his old yearbook that the Democrats will be downplaying: He was elected “Prom King.” But apparently jealous folks in the yearbook authorship did not much care for his diligent hard work, and called him “brown-noser of the year.” Guess which part of the yearbook will be talked about.

    Since Ryan has a reputation for keenly pursuing a balanced budget AND a reputation for being able to explain it simply, he seems like a good choice. He’ll excite fiscal/constitutional conservatives (which include me and many here), despite the fact that we tend to be less excitable.

    While his presence in the White House will mean his absence in the House, his additional clout should make it work out.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  9. JP Miller says:

    I’ve thought that any choice besides Marco Rubio was going to be bland or worse. While I respect Paul Ryan, I don’t think he’s going to add much to the ticket. Romney will make it or not on whether he can find a real “voice,” which he hasn’t had and I do not think will have because he doesn’t know how. If we could only take Romney’s thoughtfulness and character and weld it to a Newt Gingrich-like turn of phrase and combativeness….

    So, I hope (and believe) the election turns on the economy — I don’t want the economy to be worse in September and October, but I almost wish it would be…. and I think the odds are good it will be…

    I’m not thrilled with Romney, but…

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    These folks explain the “natural born” thing:

    The nub of it seems to be that if the father is the citizen of another country, the child has citizenship of that country too; so could have ‘mixed allegiance’. Even a subsequent act of law to clarify which citizenship they choose to hold does not remove that potential conflict.

    To the extent that is the correct interpretation of the intent of the law, Obama would not qualify to be president either as his Father was not a US Citizen at the time of his birth.

    Other folks claim that just being born on US dirt is enough. ( Looking at the interpretations and such on that link they make a decent case; but it would take a lawyer – and possibly a supreme court case – do say for sure; IMHO).

  11. BobN says:

    @EM – From what I read, the founding fathers didn’t want any undue influence on america from British subjects, so they devised the natural born requirement to keep outside influenced parties from obtaining the Power of the Presidency.

    There is an additional issue with Obama. He was adopted by Seotoro (SP) his Indonesian father and attended public school, of which you must be an Indonesian citizen to attend. This would have made him a citizen of Indonesia as well as a British citizen of Kenya. Many speculate that is why he will not show his passport or school records as it shows him as a citizen of Indonesia.

    His birth certificate released by the white house has been verified by 5 different experts to be a fraud, yet the MSM calls everyone Birthers if you mention it. His selective service has also been shown to be fraudulent by experts. The records need to be opened and the whole issue put to rest. .

  12. R. de Haan says:

    I think Ryan is a good choice: His words…
    “To the detriment of the American people, environmental issues have fallen victim to the hyper-politicization of science. The Journal Times editorial board sensibly cautioned both sides of the political divide against this unfortunate trend (“Science must trump spin,” The Journal Times, 12/3/09). At issue in the Journal Times’ recent editorial and on the minds of many Copenhagen observers are published e-mail exchanges from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU). These e-mails from leading climatologists make clear efforts to use statistical tricks to distort their findings and intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change. The CRU e-mail scandal reveals a perversion of the scientific method, where data were manipulated to support a predetermined conclusion. The e-mail scandal has not only forced the resignation of a number of discredited scientists, but it also marks a major step back on the need to preserve the integrity of the scientific community. While interests on both sides of the issue will debate the relevance of the manipulated or otherwise omitted data, these revelations undermine confidence in the scientific data driving the climate change debates”.

  13. Unfortunately, fellow travelers of life, it appears we are each on different paths to the same, frightening discovery:

    Fear and a deep sense of guilt for the “nuclear fires” that consumed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 Aug 1945 and 9 Aug 1945 convinced world leaders to establish the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945 and to pay scientists to obscure information on the energy (E) stored as mass (m) in the cores of:

    a.) Heavy atoms like uranium and plutonium,
    b.) Ordinary stars like the Sun,
    c.) Ordinary galaxies, like our Milky Way, and
    d.) Some planets like Jupiter, Saturn, and perhaps Earth.

    The “fountain of energy” Copernicus discovered at the center of the solar system in 1543 to start the scientific revolution, and the Constitutional form of government we inherited at the birth of our nation in 1776 have both been purposely undercut since 1945 to build a one-world government in order to reduce nationalism and the threat of destruction by “nuclear fires.”

    That is why our battle to restore:

    a.) Integrity to government science, and
    b.) Constitutional limits on government

    Are one and the same battle!


    Forbidden Energy: “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012)

  14. omanuel says:

    There were no Communists or Capitalists in George Orwell’s forecast, “1984”

    I see no difference between Communists or Capitalists (Rommney or Obama) today.

    That is why I support “Occupy Wall Street” and “The Teaparty Movement” now.

    And Ron Paul’s efforts to restore Constitutional limits on government !

    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  15. R. de Haan says:

    When Hufpo comes up with headlines like this: “Palin ‘Prostituting’ Jab.. Grayson vs. Bush.. No Return For Mitt.. Paul Ryan Plague.. ‘Dangerous’ GOPer”, I know Ryan is good choice.

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m not saying there is something wrong or undesirable about the positions advocated by Ryan. I am saying that a “Two White Guys both ‘money wonks'” makes for a soft target. He could have done more to look at the method of attack likely to come and pre-plan a choice to defeat it…

  17. R. de Haan says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    12 August 2012 at 4:30 pmI’m not saying there is something wrong or undesirable about the positions advocated by Ryan. I am saying that a “Two White Guys both ‘money wonks’” makes for a soft target. He could have done more to look at the method of attack likely to come and pre-plan a choice to defeat it.”

    You’re right of course but Ryan is in our camp. He’s a skeptic and he has a flawless voting record on energy. That’s a great difference compared to Romney who is filed in my books under the header “warmist”. Of course they have to beat Obama but if they can’ manage to do just that, look for a place outside the US.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Well, I have been looking OOTUS, but not finding much… EU is a mess. Asia is enthrall to China. ( And Japan is stagnating) South America is once again starting the Dance Of The Dictators with Chavez working to dominate the continent. Australia and New Zealand have drunk the coolaid (though Australia is showing hope). Africa is a mess any time.

    I’m down to looking at islands…

    If you know of anywhere who has jobs for teachers or computer guys, and with low taxes and with English being a feature; by all means let me know…

  19. R. de Haan says:


  20. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Ryan may well be the backbone that Romney needs to find his voice. Being the point of the spear is a very hard job if you feel you are alone. A strong number two along side may be just what the doctor ordered.
    I would not dismiss the Tea Party Party as the MSM has done, They are real American grass root. Self actuated and uncontrolled by the system, And their numbers are much larger then supposed by the talking heads.
    I hear the price of Popping Corn is going up. Better stock up now. (be a hoarder;-) pg

  21. philjourdan says:

    @AdrianVance, E.M., et. al.

    Title 8, Section 1401 of the US Code specifies the following:

    “Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in the gaps left by the Constitution. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are “citizens of the United States at birth:”
    •Anyone born inside the United States *

    Anyone falling into these categories is considered natural-born, and is eligible to run for President or Vice President.”


    Title 8, Section 1401:

    Rubio is indeed eligible for both VP and President. As there are no court rulings defining natural born, nor any founding documents that do, the US code takes precedence until one of the former is done.

    I think Rubio would have been an oustanding choice as well. HOWEVER, his problem is the same as the Obama/Quayle problem. Romney is free to go after Obama on that issue now.

    I am a Rubio supporter and hope he uses the next few years to get the experience under his belt and then run after Romney.

    Regardless of who Romney picked, democrats were going to trash them. Mostly through lies. And distortions. Ryan is a solid pick.

  22. Pascvaks says:

    EM- “I’m down to looking at islands…”

    Bet there’s more than a few of those islands in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Sometimes it’s far easier to escape to a sanctuary in the middle of the muddle than to pick a speck in a far away puddle. Last time I looked, there was very little of anything in the middle of Tennessee that people were stopping to see (not counting JD’s in Lynchburg;-), they spoke a little English, and had some decent SATCOM capabilities, and I believe there’s even a WalMart not to far down the road in all four primary directions. Hide in plain sight (east of the Big Muddy or south of NOLA), no one will know; best you get out of Kalifornistan ASAP before they attach everything you got to make the next payment on the State debt. I even hear someone is spreading truthful rumors about Jerry never being a very bright boy when it came to other people’s money. Run now, don’t wait any longer, Go East Old Man!

  23. j ferguson says:

    I’ve been very impressed by your recent comments – keep em coming.

    The idea of being an expatriate in the middle of the US is an interesting one. SWMBO and I have spent a lot of time thinking about this. The condition you achieve by doing this is to become irrelevant, which is another way to look at “being left alone.”

    Based on experience in Southern Illinois many years ago, I’m not sure you, or E.M. in particular would be left alone, certainly not me. Part of the culture in the middle US seems to include worrying about the neighbors, and what they might be up to. Maybe things have changed since the mid-’60s but I doubt it.

    In a sense, a mono-lingual (English only) gringo can be an expatriate in south florida. We tried that for 14 years. That doesn’t get the job done either. In addition to whatever your irrelevance might be, we found that our comfort depended on their irrelevance relative to us. Without any actual negative experiences during those years we could never overcome the subtle discomfort of being outsiders where we shouldn’t have been. And I think this would apply in the middle US unless you have a really thick hide.

    So we’re thinking Bangkok. SWBO lived there for 4 years in the ’70s. We both visited last November along with visiting old friends in Chiang Mai and central Thailand. Short of committing some sort of very public gaffe, murder, or lese majesty, it’s very hard to imagine any way a gringo could become relevant in Thailand. One can contribute in some way as our friends do, but not gather much sway outside the ex-pat community, and possibly with a few locals. And the beauty of the thing is that it’s theircountry, their culture, etc.

    This all falls apart if your wherewithal depends on the US – Social Security, investments, etc. I can’t accept the idea of depending on the US economy for our subsistence yet not participating. Seems to me the best place to live might be somewhere where no matter how screwy you are, there are others. This would definitely not include middle US. Living on a boat and running up and down the East Coast comes pretty close – irrelevance and only neighbors we are interested in – and there are some fascinating people out here.

    Our current plan, when we quit living aboard (anchored now in Lake Montauk, east end of long island) is a very small apartment in Boston, one in Delray Beach (active intellectual community there), and maybe seasonal rental in London, or Bangkok. Yah, I know….but we saved like crazy, have lived cheap for last 15 years. For us, it would be possible.

    One other issue with relocation – you can have no way of predicting what you will miss about where you were.

  24. Pascvaks says:

    @ j.ferguson – Thanks for feedback. Agree with all you said. We all have different ‘comfort levels’. Lived overseas myself for a few years, never felt comfortable on or off ‘the economy’, of course I did have a target on my back; maybe that’s why I’d prefer to hide in plane sight, in the middle of the muddle I’m most sensitive to and one I think I know more about than any other. Age has a bearing on it too. When you’re young the world is a very different place (ignorance is bliss;-). At this point in time, family grown, ‘retired’, starting to feel like my body is ‘backtracking’ on me, there’s something appealing about not starting over and being a stranger in a strange land. In Europe I could ‘blend in’ as long as I didn’t say anything, in the ‘Far East’ I felt like I might as well have been on a different planet (like that “One Eyed One Horned Green and Purple People Eater” must have felt;-) absolutely no blend whatsoever. The “Island” for me, and I suspect many more, is closer than I used to think. I’ve been living the life of Robinson Crusoe here for 18+ years with my gal ‘Friday’, no one’s found us yet, all the perks and very few snakes and jungle cess pools, in the middle of the muddle, and the climate ain’t bad, air and ground connections to everywhere else, even got a big old river that connects with everything by keel boat just like Davy Crockett and Mike Fink.

  25. j ferguson says:

    lying low:

    I used to market (attempt valiently to sell) Sun Microsystems equipment in south florida. South Florida can be a very interesting place – not everything is what it seems.

    Our most interesting customers were always the ones that called us. We would be asked to bring over a particular piece of equipment – closely speced and usually with an interesting and bit out of the ordinary combination. We had three such customers, and not one of them was actually in the business that they were apparently operating – nothing naughty though. One of the strangest was ostensibly marketing high-pressure boilers from south florida.

    The symptom is when the guy you are working with is ten times smarter than he needs to be to do what he ostensibly is doing. I always asked. Two of these guys told me in veiled terms what the program was. The third was almost certainly working for a foreign interest that we generally get along with although why in South Florida, I was never able to guess.

    That’s why I like the Bangkok idea. Kim, of climate-blog haiku fame lives there. Maybe he’ll see this and enlighten us in that regard.

  26. Pascvaks says:

    People are rarely if ever who they seem to be. I like the Chinese explaination: ‘Inner Self’ (the voice only we can hear), ‘Intimate Self’ (the family we), ‘Outer Self’ (not close, business, public we) — They’re called something I can’t remember, but that’s the idea. I have no doubt that there is a fourth ‘self’ for some – politicians and actors – the ‘Wanna-Be’ Self (who they want us to think they are;-). The more I saw of Obama and Biden the less I thought of them. The more I saw of Regan and Papa Bush the more I liked them. I hope what we see in Romney and Ryan is more real than not. Obama did a 180 on me, Biden just got more stupid each day.

  27. Paul Hanlon says:

    I’m hoping that Romney is saving it all up for the debates. At least there, Obama can’t slime him without some of the mud sticking to him too. Obama has a very thin shell, and if Romney can rough him up a little (figuratively speaking), I think he’ll crack.

    But I have to say, I’m overall disappointed with Romney. He needs a match lit up under him. Hopefully Ryan will be that match.

  28. boballab says:


    There is a great clip that will absolutely knock the crap out of any Dem attacks on Ryan and his budget. In this clip former Clinton Chief of staff and the Obama appointed Democrat Co-Chair of the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction committee Erskin Bowles talks about Ryan, his budget and Obama’s:

  29. BobN says:

    @PaulHanlon – I hope he doesn’t save anything for the debates. The debates are being done by MSM and they can be counted on to protect their guy. If there is a dodge or interesting comment, these stooges hardly ever follow up and hold the candidate for properly answering of a question.
    If Romney should stumble they will be on him like a pack of wolves.
    I understand your sentiments, but I think the debates have faded in importance as everyone plays it safe.

  30. EllenHancock says:

    Although Paul Ryan is a fine choice, Rubio was certainly eligible.

    The meaning of Natural Born Citizen refers to the PLACE of birth, not to the parents of a US-born citizen.

    “Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

    “What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004)–Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT).

    “Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”—- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

    And that is what five state courts and one federal court have ruled specifically on Obama. And one, Hollister vs McCain, ruled the same on John McCain. All seven courts ruled that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen was defined by the Wong Kim Ark case, which held that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law (hence not from Vattel) and that it refers to the place of birth, not to parents. And that is why when birthers and two-fers had a letter-writing campaign to the 600 or so members of the US Electoral College asking the members to change their votes to vote against Obama, not one elector changed her or his vote.

  31. BobN says:

    @EllenHancock – I disagree with every fiber of what you said, but refuse to ague the point anymore, no one will go against Obama, the court needs to settle this.

    By your definition, every illegal that has a baby here will make their kids eligible to be president.

  32. j ferguson says:

    How does the word “natural” work in this context? Is there an unnatural born? Ellen, why is it part of the legislation? What is a “two-fer?”

    BobN, you’re right. Every illegal that has a baby here could wind up being a parent of a president. That’s how it works.

    On Rubio. our experience with him is certainly revealing. Based on the stuff we tend to read around here, we’d assumed he was just another panderer to the usual specific causes popular in South Florida (Yah, I know Tampa and all), then we heard an interview and then a speech. That guy is really bright – and thoughtful. He supposedly has baggage, but i wonder if it’s baggage that would mean anything to anyone other than Chris Matthews?

  33. Pascvaks says:

    “S/He who writes the definitions writes the Laws, and the Liberties.”
    (It’s one of those “the pen is mightier than the..” something else things.)

    Clinton was so right (and left) when he said “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” No wonder there’s a big flap everytime we need to appoint another Supreme to the court. It really matters a whole bunch what the meaning of ‘is’ is.

  34. EllenHancock says:

    Re: “By your definition, every illegal that has a baby here will make their kids eligible to be president.”

    Answer: Yes, of course. Ask yourself whether criminals in prison who are Natural Born Citizens are eligible to be president? And the answer is that they are. Everyone who is a Natural Born citizen and over the age of 35 is eligible, and that includes the millions of children of aliens, both legal and illegal. That is because he meaning of NBC comes from the common law and refers to the place of birth.

    Here is how the term was used in 1803, shortly after the Constitution was written:

    “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration. …St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES: WITH NOTES OF REFERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. (1803)

    As you can see, that refers only to the place of birth, the same way that it was used in the common law. There is no mention of parents. Natural Born Citizens were simply “those born within the state.”

    And here is how it was used in 1829:

    “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

    So, what is the protection against us electing the child of an illegal alien, or for that matter electing a criminal in prison? There is no protection. We have to protect ourselves. We are free to elect a criminal in prison, or an atheist, or a person with body odor, or a smart person or a dumb person. We can vote for that person or for the other candidate. We are free to chose.

    Re: “How does the word “natural” work in this context? Is there an unnatural born? ”

    The answer is that it is a historical term that goes back 300 years before the Constitution was written, and we must use it the way that it was used WHEN the Constitution was written. And, the evidence is that the writers of the Constitution referred back to the old use of the term, the use in the common law, which referred to the place of birth, as Tucker and Rawle show, and as Meese and the FIVE state courts and one federal court ruling on Obama’s eligibility, and the one ruling on McCain’s eligibility, and the Wong Kim Ark decision (which was after Minor vs Happersett) all say.

    In the highly unlikely situation that the US Supreme Court ever accepts a birther lawsuit on this matter, it will decide the way the five state courts and one federal court and the one ruling on McCain all decided because the meaning of Natural Born really does come from the common law and really does refer to the place of birth.

    Re: “Two-fer.” A two-fer, which is seldom used anymore, is the short way of saying the kind of birther that thinks you have to have two US citizen parents in order to be a Natural Born Citizen. They generally think that the term comes from Vattel (who is not even mentioned once in the Federalist Papers) and not from the common law (which is referred to about twenty times in the Federalist Papers).

  35. j ferguson says:

    Thank you so much. I certainly hope some other question is broached here that you might again post such an informative comment.

  36. BobN says:

    The term Natural born is mentioned in the constitution and it applies to only one person in the US, the President. I place less importance on place of birth, McCain was used as a smoke screen for Obama to deflect. From my reading Rubio nor Obama are eligible because of their parents legal status. I think this will be argued until SCOTUS rules on it, which is desperately needed. I love Rubio, but would never vote for him as I believe he is ineligible. I also believe anchor baby are ineligible based on Natural born definition I accept.

  37. philjourdan says:

    Ellen, I echo the thanks. I have been trying to convince many of just what a natural born citizen is for some time. I am book marking your explanation and will link to it for others to read.

  38. BobN says:

    @Ellen – I believe what you have stated is wrong. Here is an interpretation that bases Natural born on the Fathers allegiance. This makes sense to me and is what I go by. Why you mentioned felons doesn’t relate to the issue, don’t know why you brought it up.

  39. E.M.Smith says:

    @All: Per ‘other places’:

    As the spouse has an EU passport that is also a Commonwealth passport (and I can get one if desired) we’d likely look to the Commonwealth countries and / or places that are EU friendly. (Yes, not wanting to be a Gringo…)

    I’m not like the Chinese. My “inner voice” is the same as my outer voice most of the time (almost always). Duplicity always took too much effort for nearly no reward.

    I’m comfortable in just about any culture, the spouse less so, but pretty good as long as they have a mall…

    Texas IS on the list as is Florida. But “middle of nowhere off the grid” is a ‘me thing’ not a ‘she thing’… so unlikely to happen. “Near the mall in a tropical country” has a better chance…

    Per “odd specs and South Florida”: Imagine you are from a foreign land. You need to set up shop in the USA for your TLA (Three Letter Agency ;-). Where will you choose?

    Midwest / Central / Rocky Mountains? “Flyover country”? Away from just about all the action and standing out like Crazy? Frozen in winter and roasting in summer?

    Pacific Northwest? Any “activity” involving the political center of the USA is a cross country flight (records…) or a week of driving. Nice weather (when it isn’t raining) but mostly you will be at Starbucks wondering what to report…

    Gulf Coast? Nice and warm, good fishing and some OK beaches. But the “locals” care a lot about their neighbors and can be a bit nosy. Mississippi is about 1/2 blacks, you will likely stand out a bit (even if from an African nation due to very different cultural norms). Though New Orleans had potential up until it got crushed…

    New England / Bos-Wash corridor? OK, close to the action. Cold winters though, and up to your eyeballs in other TLAs. Parts of it (like D.C. / Virginia / Maryland) swarming with Agency folks. (In some towns; a trip to the grocery store is a Company Pic-Nic…) “Be among them” works during an attack, not so well during a long duration ‘settle in and think’…

    Now evaluate Florida:

    LOADS of folks fly in and out to all over the country ALL the time. LOADS more to other parts of the world. At the Orlando or Miami airports nobody will notice any particular national origin or passport. Just one of the flow of tourists. Travel by car to “anywhere of interest” up the East Coast is easy and relatively private. ( Just drive around Virginia ;-)

    It is warm. There are more ethnic restaurants than you could visit in a lifetime (so a ‘taste of home’ is likely nearby and you will not stand out when you dine). Plenty of things to do for entertainment (the place is built to entertain). And so many beaches with boats that getting “special materials” delivered isn’t hard at all. ( Especially if it isn’t drugs so doesn’t set off the doggy nose and the boat doesn’t originate from Latin America…)

    Conveniently placed to “do what needs doing” while being relatively remote, yet full of fun things to do from fine dining to fishing. And ANYONE can come in for a ‘meet’ without even raising an eyebrow from the locals. “Just going to Disneyworld” “Just doing a Miami Cruise” “just trying a fishing boat” … If there IS a problem, you just both meet on a neutral island off the coast. Plenty to choose from.

    Oh, and if you need a ‘bug out’ plan: Either a boat or private plane puts you on a ‘friendly’ island in very short order. Somewhat longer to Latin America, but easily doable. Couple of hours to “international waters” or “international airspace” is easy.

    The mix of “easy to hide in plain sight” with easy coming and going (for you and for ‘others’) with plenty of things to do with proximity to the Bos-Wash corridor (while NOT being in it and watched by it). It just makes sense. And did I mention it isn’t cold and snowy? ;-)

    Folks from cold climates will love being away from snow in “exotic” tropical locations. Folks from warmer places will love NOT being in “exotic” snow ;-) and being in a climate like home.

    Now add in that there are thousands of folks from all over the USA who flock there (either for a week at a time or for 1/2 a year at a time) and you can easily “sample” the whole USA from one spot. Hang out and “talk to tourists” and gather intel…

    Only other place that comes close, IMHO, would be the L.A. Basin. But there, folks are more ‘distant’. Inside private cars, private rooms, or private houses. You can disappear in LA-LA Land, but it’s hard to just ‘hang out and listen’. Any operation requiring some ‘face time’ in the Bos-Wash financial / government swath means a plane trip (with records) or one very long car ride through places that may remember if you stop a while… So you could put a hidden cell there, or a safehouse or even a ‘data processing shop’; but field ops would be harder. Oh, and it’s about 9 hours by air to Europe and 12 to the middle east; where for Florida it’s about 4 hours.

    So were I “setting up a shop”, I’d have Florida on my Very Short List of places to run things. Get a large house with a private dock too. “Modest” but seaworthy boat. Nearby private airport (or seaplane facilities – not uncommon at all. Saw a home on a lake that had a driveway down to the water near Orlando. Under $1 Million for sure and likely under $500,000 and it was fancy. Could get a cheap version for $250,000 easy.) Put in an “emergency generator” that lots of folks have for storms and build a “hurricane shelter” basement. Nobody would even notice that the “hurricane shelter” was substantially identical to a bunker… and with the generator in a soundproof enclosure. Now you can run a fairly large body of equipment and have no ‘signature’ in either the power consumption or the IR observable. (ground source heat pump for AC). Put up a nice “Flag pole” antenna for long wave and a couple of “TV” antennas (at least one a ‘satellite dish’) and you could run a major communications center in plain site and nobody would notice.

    Golly. That sounds like fun. Wonder if there are any TLAs that would like someone to be project manager on setting up a remote site for them? Between my 2 years as Director of Facilities and my coms / computer experience, it’s a pretty good match! (I’d not thought of that as a ‘career path’ until now… but somebody has to do buildout and management and it is surprisingly similar to making a tech company facility…) Besides, I like Florida ;-)

    Back to playing catch up on the rest of the comments…

  40. Ellen – my thanks also for a good explanation.

    I’ve been lurking on this thread – nothing really to say but it’s been interesting reading. I think the argument on “natural born” is specious anyway. It looks like the idea was to have someone as President who would naturally have the country’s best interests at heart and see things from an American point of view. Recently in the UK there were “natural born” terrorists working for Al Quaeda, and the same here in France. In France and Spain there are the Basque terrorists. It’s not enough these days to assume a person’s allegiances are set by their particular place or circumstances of birth.

    Another thing that strikes me is the terms “black vote” and “hispanic vote”. This really implies that Blacks and Hispanics are so set in racist ideas that they’ll vote for someone with the same ethnic background, and implies also that there’s a “white vote” and possibly a “wasp vote” whose candidates only have to be the right sort and they’ll get waved in no matter how good or bad they are. I’m hoping that this is a construct of the pundits, and that in reality people look at the record and the policies of the candidate rather than regarding the race/religion/colour as the most important thing.

    From this side of the Atlantic, Obama’s Changes do seem to have fallen somewhat flat. Government borrowing (meant to drop with smaller government) seems to have further ballooned. I really can’t tell whether this is unavoidable (given world conditions) or a temporary state of affairs as part of a longer-term plan, or whether it’s just business as usual – lie to the voters and they’ll forget what he said in 5 years’ time. If necessary then fudge the figures to prove he was telling the truth….

    Overall, though, it would seem maybe more useful for the States to have a successful businessman rather than a successful lawyer as President. Is the Race Card still important to Americans – considering the emotive reports I’ve seen in the press, the answer would be Yes, but this isn’t the impression I get from Americans I know. What they want is results.

  41. EllenHancock says:

    Re: “I also believe anchor baby are ineligible based on Natural born definition I accept.”

    I am not trying to convince you. I am only posting in case a rational person is reading this site and seeks information on the subject.

    No matter who told you that a Natural Born Citizen refers to the parents, it is wrong. It cannot be right because we know that the historical record SHOWS that Americans at about the time of the writing of the US Constitution were using the term Natural Born the way that it was used in the common law, and there is no example of them using it to refer to parents. If the writers of the US Constitution had meant to change the meaning of Natural Born that they were familiar with in the common law to a new one based on parents, they would certainly have told us, and they didn’t.

    i have used the example of felons being eligible to be president to show that the meaning of Natural Born is an arbitrary decision regardless of whether you are good or bad, or your parents were legal citizens or illegal citizens. If you fulfill the criterion, you are a Natural Born Citizen. US-born felons fulfill the criterion. US-born Baptists fulfill the criterion. It is up to us to decide whether we will vote for the US-born Baptist or the US-born felon, or whatever.

    That is the law. Of course, you have the right to try to change the law. If you would like a new constitutional amendment that says that the children of illegal aliens are not eligible to be president, then go right ahead and ask your congressman and senators to start the process. And the same for anything, of course. But until there is a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress and three-quarters of the US states, the law remains what it has always been, that the meaning of Natural Born refers to the place of birth and includes all of us who were born here and are citizens (the children of foreign diplomats are not citizens, but the children of everyone else are). That makes about 300 million of us.

    There has even been a court case on the Us-born child of an illegal alien:

    Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) (child born in US to Mexican citizen is “natural born citizen” of US):

    “Petitioner, Sebastian Diaz-Salazar, entered the United States illegally [from Mexico] in 1974 and has been living and working in Chicago since that time. *** The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States.”

    To repeat, the children are NATURAL BORN citizens of the United States.

    And that applies, of course, to the children of foreigners who were here legally, as were the parents of Jinal and Rubio, and Obama’s father.

  42. j ferguson says:

    You’ve got the setup and the rationale for a Florida base down cold – Astonishing. It is dead-nuts description of one of our customer’s operations, and in fact, their business was one which could absorb all manner of visits by all manner of people without bringing attention to them – and you’re right, it wouldn’t have worked too many other places.

    Someone suggested that Miami was the new Casablanca.

    On my two discoveries:

    The right people knew about the one the right people should have known about.

    No-one would ever tell me in complete detail what the other one was doing, but I got a pretty good picture, not quite the who.

  43. E.M.Smith says:


    The “race card” matters to the minority races but is highly variable by individual. There is a very small (and somewhat vocal) group of “white supremacists” (that may number in the low thousands per what I’ve seen in news reports / coverage) and for some locations the locals may sneer at some other race in private conversations, but generally don’t do anything about it nor respond badly to individuals. In most of America today the propaganda of “we are all the same” has been embraced by the whites.

    Blacks have further to come (as they were on the painful end of the stick for a long time and it takes a while to get past that). So we have a black president, Oprah is one of the most successful ever entertainers with millions of non-blacks swooning over her, anyone who follows most any sport ( Basketball, Baseball, Football, Boxing…) is going to be a fan of a big black fella… and yet the historical baggage is still being carried….

    This is made worse by the “poor black” subculture. In many cities, the black sub-culture denigrates education, extols drugs and violence, and embraces the “bad boy” lifestyle. Then they get busted for it by the police. This has resulted in far more blacks being in prison than whites (as a percentage of their numbers). Which results in cries of racism and “profiling”. Never mind that most often the crimes are “black on black” and increasingly the officers doing the arresting are blacks…

    So there’s a divided culture. Rich and successful blacks on one side. Poor and busted on the other. Whites being blamed for the ills of each (and often some of them feeling guilty for ‘past sins’. An attitude I just don’t “get”. Probably as Irish Indentured Servitude also existed and nobody seems to ‘get it’ that it was NOT all White oppressing Black but was Privileged oppressing Poor of both races. But that gets left out of the common narrative…)

    So Blacks vote nearly 100% for Democrats. ( IIRC it was about 95% for Obama… says 96% so looks like I was not far off). while whites by definition voted for him or he would not have become president. So which group is voting racist, hmmmm?

    My experience with orientals is that they are generally racist, but private about it. It does depend a bit on nationality and generation. The 3rd generation American Japanese are pretty much culturally whites. Most Chinese I’ve known, even 3rd generation, are more ‘traditional’. I once dated a Chinese girl. Her family was not happy… and her older brothers made it clear… I’ve also worked closely over a decade or two with some Chinese. Definite attitudes once you get them to open up a bit. All of them? Nope. Years later met the Chinese girl again. Suggested maybe things had moved on and we could ‘get together’… She declined. Turns out she had the hots for this big black guy… We talked a while about how she was going to explain THAT to her family ;-)

    So “around the edges” there is a lot of “who cares anymore?” and a lot of “blending” happening. ( One of the 3rd Generation Japanese from my high school was married to a blond Germanic girl at our reunion…) I defy you to find anyone who didn’t like Halle Berry in the Bond film or Whitney Houston. And Obama is only ‘half black’.

    Hispanics are a rapidly growing group. About 20%. BUT… There’s many different kinds of Hispanics. I grew up with about 1/2 of my time in a Mexican Kid’s home (and about 1/2 of his in my home). So I eat hot salsa verde and he drinks tea with his pinky out ;-) His family was ‘proud’ of their largely Spanish (i.e European) background. Others are more “mixed” with a European / Asian-Amerindian mixed look. In North America, families of immigrants came and killed off a lot of the Indians. In Mexico many single men came and took native wives. In South America it is more mixed. Some countries, like Argentina and Paraguay, having large British and German populations. So what IS a “Hispanic”? A guy named Herrera from Mexico who is of Spanish heritage? Or one who is 1/2 Aztec? Or a family from Argentina named “Bachmeier”?

    So anyone who tries to make broad “Hispanic” generalizations about the USA “has issues” right out the gate. We’ve had “Latin Lovers” as staples of our movies forever ( the list of Latin movie starts is testament to that) and who can forget Carmen Miranda… Texas has been a Tex-Mex blend from the beginning as has California (and most of the places between us). La Raza ( “The Race”) is more racist than most Americans, near as I’ve been able to tell.

    One of my nieces married a Hispanic guy. I didn’t know that (or notice) until a couple of years after they were married. It came up in some conversation that the kids got some special advantage out of their ‘Hispanic minority’ status. I remember saying something brilliant like “What? He’s Hispanic?” and getting the “Yes, you idiot.” explanation… (To me he was just a good looking guy from Farm Country who liked cowboy hats and trucks… in other words, just like most all boys from the Farm Country where we grew up…) So I really have to question how “racist” any folks are here about Hispanics.

    There IS resentment for a flood of Mexicans coming over the border in defiance of the immigration laws and just “moving in”, but it is not functionally different from what was said about “Okies” flooding into California (see “Grapes of Wrath”) before. Frankly, if they were a bit less “pushy” about it, nobody would care.

    So that’s why I think putting someone like Rubio on the ticket would have been better. It would have put ‘in play’ 20% of the population where the Democrats are trying to train them into being a captured minority with a chip on their shoulder. The Republicans could have just stood up and said “We’re fine with traditional values, including those of Hispanics and Catholics” and really split the community and poleaxed the Democratic Racism strategy. Instead we get “Two white guys taking money away”… walking right into the stereotype…

    Oh Well. Hope it works.

    But, in short: The “Black vote” is a more solid object than the “Hispanic vote” while there is no “White vote”. The blacks have not caught on that when they are 95% “in the bag” nobody needs to care about what they want… The Hispanics are ‘on the cusp’ and can easily realize that it is better to not be pwned by the Democrats. Whites are increasingly becoming “independent” as they find little of interest in either party ( largest growth is in the independent voter group). Orientals are more “all over the board” but a small percentage anyway.

    Over time, and a short time at that, this all goes “POOF!” anyway. In California we are now “majority minority”. Why? It isn’t all just folks moving in from Mexico (though there are a lot of them). It is also that “genes move”… So take my family. Absolutely “Lilly White”. Mom from England. Dad German/Irish/spot of French/ and some Unknown mix. Look at the kids. 2 Sisters have kids and I have kids. One we talked about, now “officially” Hispanic. The other married a guy who was “part Indian” (don’t know what tribe) and while he looks sort of European, he is officially a mix. I have two kids, both “Lilly White” (spouse is a French / English / Irish mix) but one is dating a guy with very dark hair and I’m not sure what his heritage is and the other is dating a girl who is part African black. Inside another generation ( i.e. my kids kids) it will be functionally impossible to keep the bookkeeping straight as to “who’s a what”. It’s already nearly so. ( I’m down to 1/8ths for me and my kids are at 1/16ths and a lot of folks have just stopped trying.)

    Walk around most of the ‘dinner areas’ here and you see a LOT of mixed “white / Asian” and “Hispanic / other” and “Black / white” couples. (The only reason there are not a lot of Black / Asian couples is the way random numbers work out with two small groups, IMHO. My “Motorcycle buddy” was a black guy married to an Asian lady so the number is non-zero; but there are just much more odds for the other crosses due to the large white and Hispanic populations) On school forms that ask for race, it is an ever growing problem as many more folks now decline to state (or can’t) or pick “other”.

    At my (10 year?) High School Reunion the thing I noticed most was that folks were very happy to ‘see and be seen’ with any racial / ethnic date. Realize that 50 years ago that Rural Farm Town was a fairly racist place. In one generation, mine, it changed. We just waited for our parents to die off and then “came out”. ( I took that Chinese Girl to the reunion as my date – brothers be damned… The Japanese / German couple we mentioned. The Home Coming Queen introduced her black husband – and everyone was fine with that. We had zero blacks in town in the ’60s BTW… My Hispanic friend had his wife with him – blond Germanic of some sort. Another Japanese kid was hitting on the Italian girl he’s always liked. etc. etc.)

    It was a surprising scene, not the least of which for the simple reason that nobody but me seemed to even notice. We’d all grown up together (from kindergarten to High School was the same set of kids, modulo one or two move in/outs) and we were “just us”. Some folks had spouses from out of town. Just “more to the mix”.

    So is there a “Hispanic Vote” in that? Or a “Black Vote”? When Mom was a very white homecoming queen? When Mom is a red head of Irish decent? (Even if Dad has a Hispanic surname – but wears a cowboy hat and sounds like he’s from Texas…) Not for long.

    You can trace the “Typical American” experience via our movie stars: (Argentine Hispanic)

    Married: (Norwegian from Minnesota)


    So is he part of the “Hispanic Vote”? Or part of the “White Oppressor” rich class? Or just an actor with some famous parents?

    We’re all like that. More so every day. American “Whites” already “get it” as do many of the “Hispanics”. Blacks are slowly moving that way too. It’s ever harder to “sell” the racism card.

  44. adolfogiurfa says:

    I am a foreigner so I am not entitled to opine about your politics, but in a general view, wouldn´t it be better having longer presidential terms? Because as everyone can watch on TV, it must be very difficult to do the work of a president properly, having in practice only two years to do it, as the last two years are, once more, a time of electoral campaign, just imagine how difficult it must be. It seems crazy.

  45. j ferguson says:

    Once, again, E.M. you’ve pretty much got it nailed. A lot of us my age (69) are still working to overcome the bigotry we grew up with. I know we haven’t passed it on to our kids, though.
    They seem completely free of it.

    Because my parents are still among us, I hesitate to reveal some of the astonishing crap I grew up hearing. I’m sure some of you will be able to imagine it.

    I’m convinced that one of the goals of the Anti-Defamation League, the discouraging at least by social pressure of written and other public statements expressing bigotry is a very good one.

    Some of the truly awful things which have happened in the last 80 years could only have happened in an environment where it was socially acceptable to have and to express bigoted views. Not every group in the US has gotten the message. For example, it was recently suggested to me that I could have no idea what the shortcomings of Blacks might be not having grown up in the South. I belong to a fairly large boating group which has get-togethers twice a year. The range of background and education of the membership is quite broad and includes a lot of people I would never otherwise have encountered, except maybe in the service. I would submit that if your social contacts are all drawn from groups with more intellectual interests, you could never have any real idea what is out there.

    I was out on 826 – the Miami circumferential, when there was a bad accident involving fleeing criminals. Cleaning up the mess and retrieving the injured would take time and then there was the crime scene issue. Cop drove by on the shoulder and told us the exits had been blocked and we should expect to be where we were for a couple of hours.

    It was a nice day, and we all got out of our cars and trucks. Someone suggested that it might be interesting for each of us to tell the others our life’s story. We did. it was fascinating, and after three hours when things started to open up, we weren’t through and didn’t want to leave.

    This seems an experience everyone should have. And I can assure you that guys driving delivery vans in Miami can have astounding biographies.

    One last observation. I realized, one day, after a bit of culture-clash in Miami, that being a minority might not be any fun even if no-one was beating on you. I would walk into a room full of other architects all chatting away in Spanish, they would turn, see me, and switch to English for a few minutes, but then because they knew me and thought I didn’t care, go back to Spanish. It made me uncomfortable – maybe like what happens to a minority who walks into a room and the talking stops for a second or two – not nice.

    I might add that I spent 6 months touring Mexico by car in 1965. I had sufficient Spanish to make my way where no-one spoke English. I apparently spoke it with what sounded to them like a German accent. I was a BIG hit for this reason. Who was I to dispel this mis-conception?

    But it didn’t work in Miami even after 14 years. They speak swiftly, leave out syllables, and have a lot of colloquialisms, but then all of this is very much my problem, certainly not their’s.

    So Simon, not withstanding E.M.’s excellent precis of our situation vis a vis racism here in the states, my take is that it is more extensive but mostly among us older folks, and likely to die out eventually.

  46. BobN says:

    @Ellen – You ask where I got the idea that a parent maters in determining Natural Born. The link I cited does not matter to you. There have been 3 Supreme Court decision relating to parental status. Just because you say its so, its not. As evident by this exchange, the matter will not be resolved until the Supreme court settles it.

  47. E.M.Smith says:


    It makes more sense when you realize that the American government was largely designed to NOT “get a lot done”. It was intended to PREVENT a lot of international adventures and social manipulation. The intent was: Run a post office, keep a record of patents, prevent inter-state commerce wars, and in emergencies raise an Army ( to go with the standing Navy). Pretty much everything else was left to the States. Early Presidents had little to do most of their terms.

    It is only in the Post Progressive Era (after the W.W.I and W.W.II et al) that the Federal Government started garnering all sorts of power to itself and decided IT ought to be running large chunks of the economy and social structure.

    Season with the fact that when “we the people” make a mistake (as we did with Obama) we like the idea that they have a 2 year ‘trial period’ then we can block them with a mid-term election if they were running off a cliff and it’s only 2 years of “doing no bad” to get through to the next re-cycle…

    Frankly., I’d rather they were elected for a 2 year term… Why should we be stuck with a “dud” if things are falling apart? NEXT!

    Keeping them closer to the vote keeps the leash shorter…

    @J. Ferguson:

    Per “Life Stories”:

    I grew up in a small farm town. Folks came to the restaurant my folks ran. “The Kid” (i.e. me) loved to hear their life stories. They would share. It was a tremendous education. One “Big Black Guy” and I shared a bench outside the Cannery for 3 days straight. (if you were the one still there when the shift called for more hands, you got hired). He had been born in the USA to an ex-slave, but grew up in Latin America (bugged out) and came back as an adult later in life. We talked about what the life experience was like. (We both got hired the third night and shared the same work group the rest of the year). He was about ’60 something’ at the time IIRC. I was 18. There was the guy “Rufus” who fixed things. Rode a bike everywhere. Had a ‘club foot’ that had kept him out of the army during the wars. (This was 1960 ish. He was about 70 then? To I make it that he meat W.W.II, but it might be that I was off by a bit on guessing his age and he was much older than my Dad, so it might have been W.W.I ) We talked about his life growing up handicapped in a world that was unkind at times. He could fix anything and everyone saved “broken things” for Rufus who used them for parts. “Hindu Dean” was a “4 foot something” little guy who wore dirty overalls and looked like a wild haired tramp to many folks. To us he was “a valued customer”. He also had so much rice land that his registration fees on trucks were more than most folks annual income… His family had come over dirt poor way back and saved and bought “worthless adobe land”… then eventually started the rice industry in the area and the “adobe” was a feature for rice paddies… Smart folks… overnight his ‘crap land’ became some of the most valuable in the area. And so many more. It was my first realization that real life stories were far more complex than what you see on the surface.

    Then there were all the various veterans of various wars… Once I got my Dad upset about something and he “shared” some of his war experiences in no uncertain terms. “Can you imagine what it’s like to see the new guy putting tank mines 4 high and knowing that all you can do is tackle the guy next to you to prevent him from being killed by that guys butt flying at him?” (No, I couldn’t… But I did learn that the W.W.II German tank mines could be stacked 3 high without defusing… but not 4… ) Other than a couple such things, I could not get him to really share much about his war years. He just wanted to forget…

    My Dad has passed, so I can point out: One brother of his lived in Medford, Oregon. We would regularly drive up to visit. Dad pointed out once, the sign on the approach to that fairly large town (I’m using a polite substitute for the N… that was the first word): “Blacks, don’t let the sun set on you in our town” or words to that effect. I found it hurtful and just didn’t say anything. That was about 1959. By the mid 1960s the sign was gone. I felt relieved.

    That’s how far that area, where I grew up, has moved. From “don’t let the sun set on you here” to “married to the Prom Queen” running a large farm.

    Per Spanish: I have two stories.

    First, the “German Accent”. I had French at U.C. to the point where the next class was French Literature discussed in French. So all the Language portion. French 1, 2, and 3 ( 18 units). French 3 was taught by a native German speaker. Her degree was in French, not German, so she could not teach German. Go figure… But I’m a “sound sponge” for languages. I modeled reasonably well on the teacher…

    So I land in Germany ( evaluating an Ada compiler product from Karlsruhe). I have a day off, so Saturday was my “European Tour”. Woke up in Karlsrurhe and in very poor German (all of one class) say I’m going out to the desk clerk. and have breakfast.. By lunch time, I’m in Strasbourg France. Lunch. At the department store, use my pretty good French to buy some stuff. Admire the clerk seamlessly swapping from German to French to English to… and flawlessly doing money in / out in any mix of Marks, Francs, Dollars, … (pre -Euro era). I paid in Dollars and got Marks for change, IIRC. Or maybe it was Marks and Dollars in change…

    Back on the road, I figure I can make Switzerland for dinner… Autobahn and all. At the Swiss border, stop for gas at the border station. I walk in and say something like “Fill up on #4” in French. The clerk, a very bright fellow, looks at large white blue eyed guy with German accented French and swaps to his answer in German. I balk just a bit and in crummy German respond ( here’s the money I’ll be back for the change ) as he realizes I’m NOT German… and have American accented German, swaps to OK English “OK, Pump 4 is on”…. And I say “Thanks, I’ll be right back” in standard American… Three languages in one short transaction.

    Later, in Zurich, I was in a bar where they were speaking Romansch that I could sort of follow ( it being close to Spanish and French). The day before I’d been in Italy and struggling with “all the Italian you can learn in one flight from the tapes and book”. By now, my brain is getting a bit tired of swapping from English to French to German to Italian to… but I want dinner. There’s a Spanish restaurant and I’m curious how Spanish food is different from Mexican. (more European / continental, less fire-spice and beans) So in I go. The Waiters are all Spanish speakers. So I swap to Spanish with the waiters. ( I had 5 years of Spanish. 3 in grammar school and 2 in High School. Now a bit polluted when I try to speak it as French sneaks in ;-) but reading / listening is still clean.) So I’m doing ok, but with “sort of Frenchisms” leaking out due to the recent French usage. The waiters figure me for a Swiss who’s trying…

    All around me different tables are doing different languages. I’m alone, so the mind wanders. I’m listening to a bit of this in French and a bit of that in German and… At the end, I signal the waiter that I want the check. My brain is VERY tired of the swapping…. He comes up and says something to me. I hear “Wah wah wah wah wah”… From the tables around me it is all “wah wah wah wah wah”… Language has gone “off line”… I tried to speak and could not form a sentence. I just handed him the card and smiled, nodding at whatever he was saying… Got back to the hotel about 2 am. ( in Karlsruhe) and still was ‘fuzzy’ on languages. That part of the brain was just worn out.

    Next morning was OK… but it was a struggle to swap from English to German at checkout and I just did it in English with a “Danke” on the end… Then it was time to fly home… It was pleasant to be in just one language for a few weeks…

    Story 2:

    I’ll go into Spanish venues here. Mexican restaurants. Mexican markets.

    It’s fun in a way as, for example, I’ll go into the Mexican Grocer and they will be yacking in Spanish to all the other (shorter browner) customers and swap to English (usually heavily accented) with me. And I’ll respond in Spanish. They get the most interesting mix of surprise and “pleased” on their faces ;-)

    Yeah, I know that: “Guess I stand out here” feeling. But I enjoy tilting it back ;-)

    At one hardware store in a rural town near here ( Solidad I think) that’s substantially all Hispanic / Mexican the clerk was speaking Spanish to the other customers. Swapped to English after one look at me. I said “I’m OK with Spanish” in Spanish and proceeded to swap us back… My accent is clearly “gringo” which makes it in some ways more fun. I’m clearly not just a visitor from Argentina… There’s something pleasant about the dawning realization on their faces that I’m not going to be “offended” by Spanish… and maybe even like it.

    But I’d be happier if they didn’t “assume” and instead asked “Espanol or English?”

    At Walmart the other day, the clerk and someone they clearly knew were doing the checkout in classical California Spanglish. About 2/3 Spanish and about 1/3 English words pretty well randomly mixed. She gets to me and starts in the somewhat accented English common to native Californians from a Mexican home. I answer in Spanglish and tell her about “I grew up in la casa de mi Amigo Miguel from el Central Valley y yo le gustan Spanglish if you like.” It was great fun. A “connection” moment. Her realizing that from the Spanish side she had moved to Spanglish and that I, a gringo, had grown up speaking Spanglish too… from friendship… Nobody behind me, so we talked for a couple of minutes about some of the joys of being on the straddle between the two.

    Yet the “Tall white blue eyes” always gets me pegged for “English only” at first blush…

    Oh Well. I’ve made a game of it now ;-)

  48. j ferguson says:

    Great stories, E.M., thanks.

  49. E.M.Smith says:

    @J. Ferguson:

    Oh, and per “how much racism”: It is also strongly variable by geography. ( As you alluded).

    California is clearly on one extreme as a largely “who cares” place. “Back East” not so much.

    In Chicago I was appalled by the way some of the local blacks played the “dumb me” role. A clerk at one hotel clearly practiced in the “yes massa” attitude. It rankled. I’m much more used to the California black ( “in yo face m.f.”) I guess…

    In some parts of rural Missouri and Mississippi the towns can be dominantly black, so not a lot of anti-black racism there. (My Son helped build a church in one such town on various summer tours. Clearly they were comfortable with a ‘white guy’ in town. A group of a dozen or so volunteers from California helping out a related church in another State may be a special case, though. I donated a “parallel Bible” to the black Minister when he came to the church here to thank us all. It is now part of his growing library at the Church.)

    Yet in some parts of The South there are still strongly held attitudes (on BOTH sides) about the other races. I’ve had “friends” grousing about blacks in unfriendly terms when visiting “back there” and I’ve been surrounded by “black faces” giving me the “hairy eyeball” of “what yo’ dowine heah?”… (Often diffused with “Hey, I’m from California. We’re cool.”…) It’s amazing how much folks can ‘mellow’ just by stating the truth in the open: “Hi, I’m from California and I’m looking for some decent BBQ. There was a black guy ran the best BBQ I ever had back home and he was from around here. Where can I get the good stuff?” (smile!)

    Then you can be in Florida and find yourself talking with the waiter about how they have a shot at a singing role at Disney given their rich black vocal quality… or taking orders from a black (or Hispanic or Asian) supervisor… And pretty much anywhere a cop can be any color under the sun.

    So it is in “pockets” (that I think are rapidly shrinking).

    Heck, my favorite music was Bob Marley that I only recently found out was a 1/2 white 1/2 black guy who had to put up with racism from BOTH sides in Jamaica. He ended up with a pile of money and one of the better houses on the island near the Governor’s mansion… and beloved of folks all over the planet.

    What is clearly NOT the case is the idea that there is ONE “black vote” or one “Hispanic vote” or one “white vote”. We are a misto of types from all sorts of histories and geographies. My doctor is a woman from India. My neighbor is a Chinese woman with an Indian (India) boyfriend. The other neighbor is a “white guy” whose wife is “something Asian”. I was told once but forgot – it just wasn’t important… Something polynesian / South East Asia mix I think… A family a block away was Jet Black Dad and Lilly White Mom. (They had matching Mercedes sedans – one jet black the other very white ;-) and a sense of humor ;-) Across the street was a Jewish Guy married to a Goy wife. Nobody cares here. New York or Chicago or Dallas? YMMV…

    Oh, and in “East L.A.” it’s important to remember that the Hispanic Gangs can be highly racist…toward both ‘gringos’ and blacks. Some of the worst “racial tension” has been between Hispanics and Blacks. I have no idea why.

    Oh well…

  50. EllenHancock says:

    Re: “@Ellen – You ask where I got the idea that a parent maters in determining Natural Born. The link I cited does not matter to you. There have been 3 Supreme Court decision relating to parental status. Just because you say its so, its not. As evident by this exchange, the matter will not be resolved until the Supreme court settles it.”

    First, there have NOT been any Supreme Court decisions stating that a Natural Born Citizen requires two citizen parents. Not one.

    Second, there HAS been a US Supreme Court decision, the Wong Kim Ark case, that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law and refers to the place of birth. And, here are the actual words:

    “It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

    III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

    The above quite clearly says that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law, the law in England “for the last three centuries.” And it says that the meaning of Natural Born refers to the PLACE of birth, “therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.” And it says that the same rule applied in Britain, and in the 13 colonies and in the early states and UNDER THE CONSTITUTION.

    That is why Meese had this in his book:

    “Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”—- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

    That is why Senator Hatch said this:

    “What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004)–Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT).

    That is why Senator Graham said this:

    ““Every child born in the United States is a natural-born United States citizen except for the children of diplomats.” (December 11, 2008 letter to constituent)

  51. j ferguson says:

    I was amused during a tour on the east side of the pond by the astonishing tolerance for everyone except “travelers.” People enquired about our issues here with some sympathy for putting me in a situation where i had to “explain” what people I didn’t agree with by any stretch might have in mind.

    What I thought was a benign question about the folks living in caravans by the side of the road could evoke the most astonishing tirades.

    Fly-over country except maybe in some parts of the bigger cities can be pretty insular.

    When I lived on the near-north side in Chicago, I used to patronize Farmer Brown’s, a barbecue carry-out which was directly across the street from Cabrini-Green one of the now-gone infamous projects where the ceilings were 7’6″ and I know because i was in there for work one time.

    At Farmer Brown’s I was almost always the only white in the place. Once and a while one of the locals would get out of joint about me being there and the very large proprietor would come out from behind the bullet resistant glass (place had been a currency exchange – place to get checks cashed – and was well armored) and explain to the guy that I was OK. They always apologized and so did I.

    I’m almost certain that David Anderson of Famous Dave’s Barbecue and some other good things lived in the neighborhood at the time – late ’60s early ’70s and that one of his sauce recipes is theirs.

    BTW another truly great barbecue was in north Saint Louis in an old gas station – named Hawkins. Alas, all gone.

    Both had rib-tip sandwiches which were rib tips which could be hot or hotter which had simmered in sauce since who knows when ladled out over a ball of mashed potatoes sitting on a slice of white bread with another one on top. These things were big and no way could they be eaten as a sandwich because of the size, the mess, and having to deal with the gristle in the tips. But they were wonderful.

    back to coding.

  52. E.M.Smith says:

    @J. Ferguson:

    OK, another BBQ story:

    There was a BBQ place here that was in an old A&W Rootbeer place that had folded. Black guy running it. Nondescript neighborhood about 20 minutes from most of the Silicon Valley tech area. Had 18 hour Brisket that was cooked for at least that long. All BBQ done over night and then the guy stayed up during the day serving. ( I think he slept in the early evenings…)

    Place gets a bit of name. Pretty soon you can’t get in… packed. He ends up moving it to Very Rich Neighborhood on the hillside and prices go up… But the rich folks could get in without waiting in line or visiting the lesser neighborhood…

    OK 2 stories:

    When I worked at the Sacramento Medical Center ( in the ’70s) it was the county hospital near the “rough neighborhood” that was pretty much all blacks. About 5 miles from the hospital (where the gunshot victims from the neighborhood were regularly delivered…) was a BBQ place. Best BBQ I’ve ever had. In some old converted retail place with big display windows (no curtains). We’d get a quorum together and send a group to buy “lunch” (for the swing shift, this was really dinner). Usually a group of 3 or 4. One had to stay in the car ( to assure it would still be there when you came out and with wheels still attached) and 2 or more to go in to make the buy.

    This is NOT a pejorative statement of attitude. It is the result of real experience. If there was only one “white guy in a white coat” there was a real risk that someone peeved at the hospital or cops (or just figuring you had money) would start something. (We knew when there was a police call to the area… and where bodies with injuries originated..) With one in the car (engine running) and 2+ inside, it was “no problems”.

    Last time I went back the place was gone. Don’t know if it folded or just moved. But the BBQ was just great. Worth risking your neck and wheels to get… Any kind of meat ( beef, ribs, pork, shortribs, chicken, …) as chunks or sandwiches. I’d get the pulled pork on a bun most of the time, but the ribs were divine (but cost more). BIG tubs of it behind the (very long) counter and a large BBQ in the back half of the large open space. Couple of cheap sit down tables, typically not used other than by folks waiting for pickup. Potato salad and slaw were good too, and you could get fried ‘tatters of a couple of kinds ( sweet potato?) and more. They had a ‘ribs tip’ dish like what you described, but not on white bread IIRC. They liked buns.

    I once asked the guy behind the counter what kind of spices he used to make the flavor so good. He just smiled a big toothy smile and said something like “Well, that be a secret!”… My first introduction to the idea that BBQ was full of secrets…

    On one occasion I just HAD to have the BBQ and took my (very old beat up) VW Fastback to get dinner on my own. They recognized me (even out of my white coat) and said something like “By yoursef tonight? We’ll be quick.” Mostly folks were expected to be “neutral” at the BBQ place. But some folks might not have gotten the message… I think I said something dumb like “It’s an old VW and no black guy would want to be seen in it.” that got a smile…

    Ah, for the “good old days”…

  53. @EllenHancock:

    Your understanding matches my own, though the “dicta” distinction may become important. And I have that (rather large!) book — autographed over dinner by Edwin Meese. His wife Ursula is a delightful lady as well.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  54. j ferguson says:

    a little more barbecue. i understand on highly reliable authority that Dreamland in Tuscaloosa was once, and may yet be one of the very best barbecue operations in the US. They now have a web-site and multiple locations. At one time, there was an inside and a window. Whites could buy barbecue at the window but could not eat inside – fair enough, given the conditions at the time.

    There’s a pretty good place in Minneapolis, on Nicolet close to center of town. It’s called Texas Barbecue. I was up there on business, staying at a motel in the neighborhood and found it by following my nose. It’s a white operation but they have a very good grasp of the concept.

  55. BobN says:

    @Ellen – the link I gave requires the fathers citizenship as a requirement and states why. The founding fathers rejected the common law definitions on England. I sat in a 5 hour meeting with a dozen layers arguing this issue. I don’t know where you get that our laws were based on English Common law, The founders blatantly rejected anything English. Here is a link on the case you mentioned.
    This defines native born, not natural born. If further states that the tern Natural born is an exception to the common English laws adopted by some states.

    Here is a link discussing the issue as it relates to Ted Cruz (Popular Texan)
    This article goes in circles and resolves nothing in my opinion. The final conclusion as stated when applied to Rubio would make him ineligible.

    At the end of 5 hours they were no closer to a resolution that when they started. I firmly believe that a Supreme Court ruling will be the only way to resolve this.

    Senator Hatch and Graham are just senators with opinions, like everyone they have opinions, it holds n more sway than any one else.

    This issue will not rest until the SCOTUS rules.

  56. EllenHancock says:

    Re: “The founding fathers rejected the common law definitions on England. ”

    Answer. If they had, they would have told us. It is kind of silly to think that they rejected the common law, when so much of the Constitution refers to it–habeas corpus, ex post facto, etc.—and when the Constitution of New York (written mainly by John Jay) actually writes the common law into the law of New York (until changed by state law in New York).

    So your claim that they rejected the common law definitions does not have any evidence going for it.

    And we have the evidence of the quotations from Tucker and Rawle that they used the term Natural Born just the way that it was used in the common law. And we have the decision in the Wong Kim Ark case, which ruled six to two (one not voting) that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law.

    You CLAIM that that the writers of the Constitution rejected the common law definitions, but there is no evidence for it, and much evidence against it. AND, most important of all, IF they had switched from the old meaning of Natural Born that was based on PLACE to a new meaning of Natural Born that was based on parents, they would have told us.

  57. EllenHancock says:


    There is nothing in this citation that says that the US Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark did not define NATURAL BORN, those exact words, as coming from the common law and referring to the place of birth.

    The actual words used in the Wong Kim Ark case were:

    “It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

    III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

    That clearly says that NATURAL BORN came from the law of England (the common law), ahd that it referred to the place of birth, and that the same rules were in force in Britain, and in the 13 colonies and in the early states, and UNDER THE CONSTITUTION.

    Re: “At the end of 5 hours they were no closer to a resolution that when they started. I firmly believe that a Supreme Court ruling will be the only way to resolve this. ”

    And what if the Supreme Court turns down the case? Will you call them “traitors?” Will you insist that there is still an issue even though the Supreme Court decided not to rule? Or will you recognize that when the Supreme Court turns down the appeal of a state court (in this case Georgia) that held that Obama is a Natural Born Citizen THE USUAL REASON FOR TURNING DOWN THE APPEAL is that it accepts and agrees with the ruling of the lower court. That is what is virtually certain to happen in this case. The US Supreme Court will turn down the appeal because it agrees with the ruling of the court in Georgia, and the ones in Indiana, New Jersey, Arizona and Florida, that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen was defined in the Wong Kim Ark case and that it refers to the meaning of Natural Born that came from the common law, and that it refers to the place of birth.

    THAT is what is going to happen in September or October when the US Supreme Court decides whether or not to take this case. It will not take the case, and that means that the lower level court was right. The lower level courts were, in fact, right, as the views of Meese, and Graham and Hatch and Black’s Law Dictionary, and the historical quotes from Tucker and Rawle all show.

  58. BobN says:

    Ellen – The reference relating to the parent comes from Vattel’s writing in his book the The Law of Nations. The definition required a child to be born in the country with parents that were citizens. He further explains that the fathers nationality and elegance was conferred to his children. Here is a link on the subject:

    The Law of Nations is considered the bible by many scholars regarding such issues.

    As a side note it was noted in various writings that George Washington was very concerned about this issue and checked out The Law of Nations during the time of the Constitution development. We know this because he never returned the book to the library and the records show the dates.

    This issue has been argued by lawyers for years with no resolution. Both sides can cite writings and opinions, but since the Constitution didn’t define Natural born its open to speculation and evident by this exchange. I will say one more time that it will not be resolved until SCOTUS defines what it is.

  59. Pascvaks says:

    Q: When you’re on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with 29 other survivors, and you’ve been without food for two weeks and have been subsisting on rain water only, who do you eat first?

    A: The Lawyer!

  60. j ferguson says:

    BobN, It might be that George Washington didn’t return the book because he thought it utter nonsense and didn’t want anyone else to be misled by it. Since we’re doing all this speculating anyway why not give that thought benefit of doubt.

    I just spent 18 months reading David Hume’s History of England which was published about the time our forefathers were inventing this place. It recounts step by step the development of our distribution of rights and duties and the royal excesses many of which are addressed ion our bill of rights.

    Ellen Hancock is very polite. To suppose that our forefathers rejected the assumptions of English Common Law in their formulation of how this place was going to run is to expose almost total ignorance on the subject. You need to read a lot more.

  61. BobN says:

    Ellen – I’m glad your a big reader. Its been my experience that a lot of people can read, but understanding is a whole different issue. I wouldn’t begin to presume anything about George Washington and his motives, you supposition is funny!

    You have no comment to the good link I just gave, giving an example of linkage to Parents?

    I will put my reading list up against yours any day, again you make assumption you know nothing about.

    Your response just turned negative, not factual, so I will no longer respond to your posts.

  62. EllenHancock says:

    Re: “As a side note it was noted in various writings that George Washington was very concerned about this issue and checked out The Law of Nations during the time of the Constitution development. We know this because he never returned the book to the library and the records show the dates..”

    Indeed. Perhaps you did not notice that the book was checked out of the New York Society Library?

    Let me repeat that again, the NEW YORK Society Library. New York, New York CITY. Perhaps you remember that the Constitutional Convention was in Philadelphia and that George Washington did not live in New York until he was president, and that was not until AFTER the Constitution was written.

    But say that he did read Vattel before that, say that others read him too. There is a simple answer to that. The writers of the US Constitution read a lot of other writers besides Vattel. In particular, they Read Blackstone, and his definition of Natural Born is entirely different than Vattel’s.

    Vattel may have been a great guy, but the fact that some members of the Constitutional Convention had read him, along with other writers, doe not mean that they followed his definition of Natural Born. If they had followed Vattel, they would have said “We are following Vattel.” If they had intended to change the common definition of Natural Born, the one that the lawyers in the convention had been using for years, they would have told us about their making a change, and they didn’t.

    in fact, neither Vattel nor his book is mentioned in the Federalist Papers (and it certainly is not mentioned in the Constitution although the words Law and Nations are capitalized—explanation, they capitalized a lot of things). And, worse for the Vattel notion, the word that he used when he wrote the book (which was in French) was “indignes”–and that word was not translated into “Natural Born Citizen” in any English-language translation until ten years after the Constitution was written. At this point some birthers reply “the writers of the US Constitution were very educated people and spoke French fluently.” But not all of them did, and if they did, the translation of “indignes” as Natural Born Citizen is by no means certain. For example, when the US Constitution is translated into French, they never use “indignes” for Natural Born Citizen.

    And the bottom line remains, if they had used Vattel, they would have told us. If they had intended to change the common meaning of Natural Born to Vattel’s meaning, they would have told us.

    But they did not tell us, and the historical record shows that Tucker and Rawle used Natural Born the way that it was used in the common law, indicating that they thought—correctly—that the term comes from the common law and not from Vattel.

  63. EllenHancock says:

    Re: “This issue has been argued by lawyers for years with no resolution. ”

    A few lawyers with ties to the birther movement claim that the issue is not settled. But when Meese has what he said in his book and five state courts and one federal court agree with him, and when no member of the Senate or the House is raising the issue, and when the US Supreme Court defined the term in the Wong Kim Ark case, and when there is no evidence that the writers were using the Vattel definition—-and, this is key, when not a single member of the US Electoral College changed her or his vote to vote against Obama because of the two-parent theory—-then it is settled.

    You may dream that the US Supreme Court will reverse all of this. But it won’t. It will turn down the latest birther case, indicating that it finds no fault with the decision by the lower court. That will be still another nail in the coffin.

  64. boballab says:

    Ellen and BobN you both might want to look at the document prepared by the Congressional Research Office:

    Although the eligibility of native born U.S. citizens has been settled law for more than a century, there have been legitimate legal issues raised concerning those born outside of the country to U.S. citizens. From historical material and case law, it appears that the common understanding of the term “natural born” in England and in the American colonies in the 1700s may have included both the strict common law meaning as born in the territory (jus soli), as well as the statutory laws adopted in England since at least 1350, which included children born abroad to British fathers (jus sanguinis, the law of descent).

    The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.” Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.

    Click to access R42097.pdf

    That is why the argument over Obama’s birth was over was he born in Hawaii or in Kenya. If he had been born in Kenya he wouldn’t have qualified for US Citizenship at Birth because at the time his mother didn’t meet the criteria set forth in the Immigration and Naturalization act of the time (believe it was either 1952 or 1956 was the year of the act in effect). She didn’t have residency in the US long enough after living overseas. I believe it was 4 or 5 years at the time. There is similar rules in effect today if you look under the Child Citizenship act of 2000.

    However that only applies if the child is born outside the US and it’s territories. Any child born on US Soil automatically gains US Citizenship.

  65. EllenHancock says:

    Re: “If he had been born in Kenya he wouldn’t have qualified for US …”

    That is probably accurate. There’s just one thing wrong with it.

    Obama was NOT born in Kenya. It is nutty to even think that it was a possibility.

    Only 21 people came to the USA from Kenya in 1961. Obama’s mother would have had to have traveled late in pregnancy ten thousand miles to go to Kenya, and she would have had to have traveled alone—because WND has proven that Obama’s father was in Hawaii in 1961.

    And the Kenyan government has stated that it investigated the “born in Kenya story”–and found that there was nothing to it.

    Oh, and Obama has a birth certificate that shows that he was born in Hawaii, and only birther :”experts” have claimed that there is something wrong with it (and we know how fair and impartial they are), and the facts on Obama’s birth certificate have been repeatedly confirmed by the officials of both parties in Hawaii, and the conservative secretary of state of Arizona has accepted the latest confirmation from Hawaii and ruled that Obama will be on the ballot, and the confirmations are further backed up by the Index Data and by the birth notices sent to the newspapers by the DOH of Hawaii in 1961 (and only the DOH could send those notices because the section of the paper was called “Health Bureau Statistics” and the DOH only sent the notices out for births IN Hawaii).

    So much for the “he wasn’t born in the USA” myth.

    Your statement that “Any child born on US Soil automatically gains US Citizenship.” is absolutely true (except for the children of foreign diplomats, of course). AND the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law, so every US citizen who was born on US soil is both a US citizen (which includes naturalized citizens, of course) and a NATURAL BORN US citizen.

  66. boballab says:

    I actually don’t care either way because Obama having alliegence to anything but himself is pretty much laughable.

    The original intent of the laws about being born here or overseas had more to do with upbringing then anything else. Back in the day of wooden sailing ships you didn’t take newborns for long ocean voyages unless you absolutely had to. So what that meant was that a child born here was most likely to be raised here and start imbibing our culture. For children born overseas they were afraid that they would come here having been inculculated with ideas from those other countries and have more loyalty to them. That is also why the the parental rules for having to have resided recently in the US before going overseas and having the child. That way you have fresh ties to the US and not so much to the country you are living in and raise the Child with those memories. The special law for the Canal zone passed by congress in the 1920’s I think it was is a classic example of this. The US citizens down there worked for the US government and they had schools set up just for children of those citizens. That way those kids were raised “American”. That is also why Naturalized citizens were excluded from being President, they were raised in another culture and beliefs. Modern travel and information sharing techniques make most of the older rules obsolete.

  67. Quite a lot of choler here, but Boballab has it in perspective. Ellen – I presume you’re a lawyer, and it certainly looks like you’re right as regards the Law as it stands and as it stood then.

    Law depends for its meaning on precisely what the words mean and how they are interpreted when put into a sentence (Bill Clinton – depends what your definition of “is” is!) but the meanings vary over time and place and culture, and in any case are defined in other words so it’s a circular definition. There is no absolute meaning to any word except by reference to other words, so as in Humpty-Dumpty any interpretation is what you want it to be. Arguing over precise definitions of words gets you precisely nowhere – people with different backgrounds/cultures will still end up with a gap.

    Play the game of “Circles” – you need a big dictionary. Start with a word, and find one of the words that means the same, then look up this word and find another word which means the same as that one. Rinse and repeat as many times as needed. Your score is how many words you can find before you end up back at the original word. 20 is a pretty good score (no pun intended), but you may be able to extend it to the odd hundred or so with a bit of creativity.

    There was a nice scene in “The Day After Tomorrow” with the people in the library burning books to keep warm. They didn’t want to burn “good” books like Moby Dick (a lot of joules in a thick book) but hit on the idea instead of burning the Law books. They got warm, at least.

    One guy I know (my ex-wife’s husband) has 4 nationalities and passports, but he seems a pretty good American to me. These days, you can’t assume that someone born in a country necessarily has allegiance to it, and you also can’t assume the opposite either. Unfortunately you can only tell afterwards as to whether a particular person has done well, not-so-well, badly or downright maliciously. Even in the same language, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. If it’s a bad outcome, do you feel it was intentional, a mistake, incompetence or unavoidable exterior problems? What makes this hard to determine is that you also can’t be sure that the information you have is not also a lie, misleading or just fabricated.

    Rather than try to disqualify Obama on nit-picking the legal language, therefore, it’s maybe more germane to attack the record of what he has done, and to do the same to any other President/VP or candidate (know them by their fruits) since it’s the actions that have the effect, not the promises. Judge on personal experience or that of people you trust to tell the truth. If you’re somewhat like me you’ll probably find that there is a very small amount of reliable information to make a decision on.

    At heart, you’re trying to foretell the future here. Will Romney or Obama do better at keeping the promises, and do you want what they promise?

  68. EllenHancock says:

    No, I am not a lawyer. I am delighted that the discussion has turned from the issue of eligibility to that of who will be a better president.

    That is the issue, of course, not the nutty idea that Obama was born in a foreign country or the recently-manufactured birther theory that Natural Born refers to parents and not to the long-established criterion of place of birth.

  69. P.G. Sharrow says:

    All of this argument over the status of Obamas’ birth is a waste of time. The con was successful. A person with no qualifications is in the most powerful position in the world.
    The Great Deceiver recreated his own image and sealed his real life records from prying eyes and enough people bought it. He now rules by decree as he has lost popular backing. He prosecutes wars all over the world. All of this was prophesied, as well as, He will only be on the worlds’ stage 7 years and then disappear. Time is up and the con is over. pg

  70. EllenHancock says:

    Obama has not “sealed” his records. He simply has not shown his school or college records, etc. Neither has Romney.

    You still have the right to vote for either of them, or if you prefer to think of it in reverse, against either of them. However, Obama was born in Hawaii and is a Natural Born US citizen.

  71. E.M.Smith says:


    Repeating your position louder and with more force does not make it more right.

    I’ve looked at the evidence on both sides. Near as I can tell it’s a toss up on the legalities and depends on particular knowledge of the law as originally intended AND as subsequently redefined.

    But more importantly, it doesn’t really matter. He IS the president and nobody is doing anything to get the issue looked at by The Supremes (who, given the bogus Obamacare ruling, are quite happy to redefine ‘what is is’ to just keep folks happy. Or define a non-tax as a tax…)

    So can we let the whole “is so – is not” on the Natural Born die out? You too BobN & Simon…

    Once you are dealing with 200 year old English Common Law as part of the basis, all bets are off unless specially trained. Heck, even the meaning of “should” is different. ( In English “ought” means what an American means by “should” while “were to” in American is closer to the English meaning of “should”… “If I ought to be rewarded” vs “If I should be rewarded” vs “If I were to be rewarded”…) There’s a bunch of those… “Two people separated by a common language”. Add in “Law French” in England and some Yankisms, stir and ferment for 200 years of language drift…

    No way any of us can say what that law means. And the “does so – does not” is just tedious.

  72. E.M.Smith says:

    A corrupt French dialect used by English lawyers from after the Norman Conquest in 1066 until slightly after the end of the Restoration period in 1688.

    By the mid–thirteenth century, many of the English gentry and some commoners spoke French, and the language was used in the king’s courts and in printed legal materials. After England’s wars with France during the reign of Edward III (1327–77), schools no longer taught French. Oral French in the courts was thereafter mostly confined to recitation of formal pleadings, and thus lost grammatical sophistication and suffered a drastic decline in vocabulary.

    Law French was primarily a written language and was pronounced as if it were English. It persisted because of tradition and because most of the books in lawyers’ libraries were printed in French or in Latin. It also functioned as a form of shorthand for lawyers to use in recording legal propositions. In other words, spoken English was transcribed in French. This use resulted in an artificial technical vocabulary, uncorrupted by the vicissitudes of vernacular English usage. The names of everyday things became increasingly Anglicized, but law French terminology formed the cornerstone of the common-law vocabulary. Some of the words still used today are appeal, arrest, assault, attainder, counsel, covenant, debtor, demand, disclaimer, escrow, heir, indictment, joinder, lessee, larceny, merger, negligence, nuisance, ouster, proof, remainder, tender, suit, tort, trespass, and verdict.

    By the mid-Tudor period, in the mid-sixteenth century, the active law French vocabulary consisted of fewer than a thousand words; English was freely substituted for French when the writer’s knowledge of French proved inadequate. In 1650 Parliament enacted a statute prohibiting the use of law French in printed books. At the beginning of the Restoration, in 1660, the law was treated as void and there was a widespread, albeit short-lived, reversion to law French. Law French gradually died in the ensuing years. It appears that the last English Law book written in law French was published in 1731. Sir John Comyn, Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer, wrote his Digest in law French but the work was translated into English for its posthumous publication in 1762.

    The post-positive adjectives in many legal noun phrases in English—attorney general, fee simple—is a heritage from Law French. Native speakers of French may not understand certain Law French terms not used in modern French or replaced by other terms: for example, the current French word for “mortgage” is hypothèque. Many of the terms of Law French were converted into modern English in the 20th century to make the law more understandable in common-law jurisdictions. However, some key Law French terms remain, including the following:

    attorney, one appointed to act for another — now characterized as either:
    attorney-at-law — see lawyer, solicitor, barrister or civil law notary
    attorney-in-fact — one who has power of attorney.
    autrefois acquit, a peremptory plea that one has previously acquitted of the same offense.
    bailiff, the marshal of the court, charged now chiefly with keeping order in the courtroom.
    cestui que trust, sometimes shortened to cestui; the beneficiary of a trust.
    chattel – personal property.
    chose, literally “thing”, usually as in phrases: “chose in action” and “chose in possession”.
    culprit, now used to mean ‘guilty party’. Originally a blending of Latin culpabilis (‘guilty’) and Law French prist (‘ready’), a shortening of a conventional phrase prist del averer (‘[I am] ready to prove [that the accused] is guilty as stated’).
    cy-près doctrine, the power of a court to transfer the property of one charitable trust to another charitable trust when the first trust may no longer exist or be able to operate.
    defendant, the party against whom a civil proceeding is brought.
    escheat, reversion of unclaimed property to a feudal lord, or the state where the property is allodial.
    estoppel, prevention of a party from contradicting a position previously taken.
    feme covert and feme sole – the legal status of adult married women and unmarried women, respectively, under the coverture principle of common law.
    Estovers – wood that tenants may be entitled to from the land in which they have their interest
    force majeure – French for “superior force”; clause in some contracts that frees parties from liability for acts of God.
    laches – loss of rights through failure to act.
    mortgage – literally a “dead pledge”; a pledge by which the landowner remained in possession of the property he staked as security.
    Statutes of Mortmain – statute restricting the conveyance of land to the “dead hand” of a religious organization
    oyez – often calqued as hear ye!, a traditional cry used to open court proceedings, still used in the Supreme Court of the United States.
    parol evidence rule, a substantive rule of contract law which precludes extrinsic evidence from altering the terms of an unambiguous fully expressed contract; from the Old French for “voice” or “spoken word,” i.e., oral, evidence.
    parole – from the Old French for “voice” or “spoken word”; the release of a prisoner based on giving their word of honor to abide by certain restrictions.
    plaintiff – the person who begins a lawsuit.
    pur autre vie – pour autre vie in modern French; means during the term of another person’s life (used in lease arrangements)
    prochein ami – Law French for what is now more usually called next friend. Refers to one who files a lawsuit on behalf of another not capable of acting on his or her own behalf, such as a minor.
    profit a prendre – also known as the right of common, where one has the right to take the “fruits” of the property of another, such as mining rights, growing rights, etc.
    recovery – originally a procedural device for clarifying the ownership of land, involving a stylised lawsuit between fictional litigants.
    remainder – originally a substitution-term in a will or conveyance, to be brought into play if the primary beneficiary were to die or fail to fulfill certain conditions.
    replevin, a suit to recover personal property unlawfully taken.
    torts, meaning wrongs.
    trove, as in treasure trove, was originally an adjective, not a noun, and means found. Thus treasure trove means not a treasure chest or hoard, but a treasure found by chance, as opposed to one stolen, inherited, bought, etc. Trove should properly be a word of two syllables (Old French trové, modern French trouvé), but this is never observed today.
    voir dire – literally “to say the truth”; the word voir (or voire) in this combination comes from Old French and derives from Latin verum, “that which is true” and is not related to the modern French word voir, which derives from Latin vidēre (“to see”). Voir dire refers to the questions a prospective juror or witness must answer to determine his qualification to serve, in the law of England a mini-trial held after a plea of guilty has been entered to determine the facts of the offence where they are in dispute. In a modern context thought of often as a mini-trial within a full trial to determine the admissibility of contested evidence. In a jury trial a voir dire is held before the judge but without a jury present. Voir dires may also be held in a trial by judge alone, but done, of course, in the presence of the judge.

    4: Source: . The macaronic nature of this production can be more easily seen if it is reproduced in a modernized form, with the French elements in italics, Latin in bold, and the rest in English: “Richardson, C. J. de C. B. at Assizes at Salisbury in Summer 1631. Fut assault par prisoner là condemné pour felony; que puis son condemnation jeta un brickbat au dit Justice, que narrowly missed, & pour ce immediately fut indictment drawn par Noy envers le prisoner, & son dexter manus amputée et fixée au gibbet, sur que lui-même immédiatement hangé in presence de Court.” Admittedly, many of the English words (assault, prisoner, condemn, gibbet, presence, Court) could be interpreted as misspellings (or alternative spellings) of French words, while Justice is the same in French as in English; but even under the most favorable of constructions, the note is bad French, bad English, and bad Latin, all at the same time. What is perhaps most striking is that Treby could not remember the French even for such a familiar concept as being ‘hanged’ (pendu).

    As Law French was the basement on which Common Law rested “Good luck with that” comes to mind…

  73. BobN says:

    Obama has essentially sealed his records! The first thing he did as president was issue executive order 13489 banning the release of his records, so for all practical purposes they are sealed.

    Obama claims he was born in Hawaii, but that is debated as a real BC has never been seen by anyone. His released record has been proven to be a forgery by 4 experts. He has spent millions keep his files hidden.

    No one can say for sure about his Natural Born Status. It all depends on the definition of Natural born, which has Never been properly defined. Until SCOTUS rules, I go with the “Law of Nations” which would make him ineligible.

    I look forward to November to get rid of this Poor excuse for a president!

  74. P.G. Sharrow says:

    So far this choice of Ryan as VP is working. Romney and Ryan have come out swinging against the Democrats and are getting traction. Mitt seems to be a different man with real fire in his belly, about time. Obama and company are not use to someone fighting back and the news reporters are getting restive. Some of them are getting tired of being treated like mushrooms. Maybe there is hope for some of them. This election is starting to look like a Cowboy Western, “Bar Room Brawl”. Ryan is smart and quick, a very dangerous man to Confidence men. ;-) pg

  75. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G.: I’ve noticed that Romney seems much more energized. At last. Maybe it will work out OK after all… I’m also of the opinion that the Obama camp jumped on the Mud & Lies campaign way too early. Too much time for responses showing where they are just “making stuff up” and frankly, it doesn’t wear well. Folks get tired of “smear and tear down” and what a positive message.

    Classically the “go negative” is saved for the last few weeks for just those reasons. Hit hard with no time for effective response before the election and not enough time for the “mud” to splatter back your way as folks get sick of it and look for some “blowback time”…

    So I have to revise my complaint about a Romney / Ryan ticket.

    Now I’m wishing it was a Ryan / Rubio ticket ;-)

  76. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. – Re: Too Early

    I totally agree. Not only does going early allow Romney to counter the attacks, but it makes Obama appear desperate, whether he is or is not. Reality is fine for text books and scientists (except in Climatology), but most of the world operations in a plane of perception. Obama may be totally confident in his re-election, but the perception his campaign is giving off is one of fear and desperation.

    Negative Campaigning works – but not for long periods due to the perceptions. Like the boy who cried wolf, eventually it loses its shock value.

  77. j ferguson says:

    Dems need the fear and desperation to keep the money coming in. I would be interested in learning who other readers would have preferred as optimum candidate, presumably conservative.

    Maybe there’s someone out there that I, too, would have liked.

  78. Pascvaks says:

    I found the very recent talk of “Dumping Biden” and “Drafting Hillary” very entertaining. You can’t make this stuff up; truth is stranger than fiction. Just imagine who the first to suggest this might have been. My bet is a guy named Bill via some well placed proxies. This is classic! Dimly lit back rooms filled with smoke and mirrors make for good stage scenes but it was probably all done during a stroll to the Executive Washroom, or minutes thereafter. Get the pic?

    Obama must be going skitzo these days with all these cream pies hitting him in the face every which-a-way he turns. He must not have very many ‘friends’, you know the lifelong ‘true’ type. I’ll bet he wishes he’d gone into acting, he’d no doubt be working on his third Oscar by now (thinks he;-). It’s the funniest part of the movie I tell ya, but just like “Home Alone” with the wife, I’m the only one in the house laughing my head off. People just don’t appreciate comedy anymore. That’s sad!;-)

  79. j ferguson says:

    Every once in a while people should re-watch Being There, the superlative Peter Sellers film of Jerzy Kosinski’s superlative book.

  80. j ferguson says:

    BobN, thanks for the “Law of Nations” reference. Looks like a worthwhile book. I’m going to give it a shot. $4.95 for Kindle at Amazon.

  81. BobN says:

    @J ferguson – Hope you enjoy it, its a bit of a dry read, but its contents were woven in and out of the founders writings. Good luck.

  82. EllenHancock says:

    Re: “Obama has essentially sealed his records! The first thing he did as president was issue executive order 13489 banning the release of his records, so for all practical purposes they are sealed.”

    Executive orders apply only to the federal government. They are orders from the head of the federal government to the employees of the federal government, and that is all. They are NOT laws, and hence they cannot seal state records, college records, medical records, corporate records, law firm records or any private records. So, how come Obama’s transcripts and medical records are not available? Because they are covered under state and federal privacy laws. That is all. And, BTW, Romney has not shown his school or college or graduate school transcripts or papers or medical records either.

    Re: “Obama claims he was born in Hawaii, but that is debated as a real BC has never been seen by anyone. ”

    The REAL birth certificate is the official physical copy, the one on security paper with the seal on the back. Governments do no allow people into their files to see the originals because they fear that someone would steal or alter them.

    Obama has shown his birth certificate from Hawaii twice, the short form and the long form, and he has shown both images of them and the official physical copies, the one with the seal on the back, to the press.

    And the officials in Hawaii of both political parties have repeatedly confirmed the facts on the birth certificates, and they are further confirmed by the Index Data file and by the birth notices sent to the newspapers by the DOH in 1961, and at the time only the DOH could send notices to that section of the newspaper (it was called “Health Bureau Statistics”) and in 1961, the DOH only sent out notices for those that it had issued birth certificates to, and at the time it could only issue birth certificates to children born in Hawaii.

    The CONSERVATIVE secretary of state of Arizona accepted Hawaii’s most recent confirmation that Obama was born in Hawaii and ruled that Obama will be on the ballot in Hawaii.

    Re: “His released record has been proven to be a forgery by 4 experts. He has spent millions keep his files hidden.”

    Answer. Only birther “experts”—-who have not proven that they actually are experts, and who certainly have not shown that they are fair and impartial—-have claimed that Obama’s birth certificate is forged. Wonder why Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and the National Review do not believe him? Wonder why Rush Limbaugh will not even discuss it?

    Dr. Neil Krawetz, an imaging software analysis author and experienced examiner of questioned images, said: “The PDF released by the White House shows no sign of digital manipulation or alterations. I see nothing that appears to be suspicious.”

    Nathan Goulding with The National Review: “We have received several e-mails today calling into question the validity of the PDF that the White House released, namely that there are embedded layers in the document. There are now several other people on the case. We looked into it and dismissed it. … I’ve confirmed that scanning an image, converting it to a PDF, optimizing that PDF, and then opening it up in Illustrator, does in fact create layers similar to what is seen in the birth certificate PDF. You can try it yourself at home.”

    John Woodman, independent computer professional, said in a series of videos that the claims of fakery that he examined were unfounded.

    Ivan Zatkovich, who has testified in court as a technology expert, and consultant to WorldNetDaily: “All of the modifications to the PDF document that can be identified are consistent with someone enhancing the legibility of the document.”

    Oh, and the latest confirmation from the officials in Hawaii states in writing that they checked the facts on Obama’s published birth certificate against the one in the files and the facts are EXACTLY the same. They also have confirmed that they sent the birth certificate to Obama. What would be the point in forging a birth certificate, when you have one, to make a copy on which the facts are exactly the same as the one in the files?????

    Re: “No one can say for sure about his Natural Born Status. It all depends on the definition of Natural born, which has Never been properly defined.”

    Answer: There is an appeal of one of the court cases that ruled that Obama was eligible on its way to the US Supreme Court. The odds are 999 to one or better that the court will not take the case. The reason in the vast majority of cases that the US Supreme Court does not accept is that it agrees with the ruling of the lower court, which held that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen was defined in the Wong Kim Ark Supreme Court case, which held that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law (hence not from Vattel) and that the common law said that Natural Born status was based on the PLACE of birth, not the parents. Five state courts and one federal court have ruled that way on Obama, and one did so on McCain. That is seven courts, and not one court has ruled in favor of the birther position. Oh, and BTW, Wong Kim Ark was AFTER Minor vs Happersett, so it overturned it.

    “Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

    “What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004)–Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT).

    “Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”—- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

    And that is what five state courts and one federal court have ruled specifically on Obama. And one, Hollister vs McCain, ruled the same on John McCain.

    All seven courts ruled that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen was defined by the Wong Kim Ark case, which held that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law (hence not from Vattel), and that it refers to the place of birth, not to parents. And that is why when birthers and two-fers had a letter-writing campaign to the 600 or so members of the US Electoral College asking the members to change their votes to vote against Obama, not one elector changed her or his vote.

    For further research:






    And, for those who think that this is only recent conclusions and hence revisionist, there is this from 1829:

    “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

  83. BobN says:

    Your mostly wrong on things you state. Obama’s orders sealed the school records and they are state institutions, but they take Federal money. The schools are so paranoid that the records have been put under special lock and key. Yup they are sealed all right.
    I believe him to not be Natural born because of his Fathers Nationality. It obvious you believe otherwise so why keep posting.. Until SCOTUS rules, Obama and Rubio are both ineligible..

  84. crosspatch says:

    “The US Hispanic community is split.”

    Rubio is a Cuban, is not seen as aligned with Mexican and central American Hispanics on immigration issues. Yes, he speaks Spanish, but is not aligned with the major Hispanic issue: immigration. Cubans adults are allowed to stay if they make it to the US.

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