Conspiracy Theories

Two things were brought to my attention today, during a gathering of computer scientists that was not T++. (T++ being canceled, as no student organizations are allowed to meet during dead week.) We were kicking around the importance of the recent events, and someone pointed out to me that the controversy over Obama’s birth certificate is far more stupid than even I had realized. (This is laying aside my opinion that it’s a stupid rule anyway.)

Specifically, it doesn’t matter where Obama was born. Even if he was born overseas, because his mother is an American citizen, he would be a natural-born American citizen. This has been the way of things since March 26, 1790.

The other thing that occurred to me is much more hand-wavy and conspiracy-theory-like.

So, this dude, Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, owns 7% of News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News. Fox News being the crazy-far-right-warmongery cable news outfit in the US. This news outlet has been strongly for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, outspokenly skeptical of the science behind climate change, and in general a heaping dose of right-wing crazy for years. Both the wars and climate change skepticism boost the sale of oil.

The Saudi Royal family is rich off of oil.

Do you think oil would be at $100 a barrel if we hadn’t invaded Iraq?

Do you think oil would be at $100 a barrel if Americans didn’t love them some stupidly huge gas-guzzling SUVs (in spite of evidence that it is damaging the environment)?

I am contemplating the possibility that Fox New’s stances on things are specifically tailored to drive up the price of oil through the manipulation of the right-wing proletariat, all the better to line the pockets of a significant share-holder.

Conspiracy Theories

2 thoughts on “Conspiracy Theories

  1. Jessie says:

    Actually, the place of his birth is important not because it confers citizenship, but because the Constitution requires that the President be born on American soil. I guess we don’t believe in immigration enough to let a naturalized citizen become President. Give me your tired, your poor and all, but make sure they’re never in power. This is what saves us from Arnold Schwarzenegger ever thinking he could run for President.

    1. Rachel Shadoan says:

      So I have done a little bit of research on this. The clause in question is:

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

      The natural born citizen part is the question.

      Congress, in its second session ever, extended the “natural born citizen” part to cover anyone born abroad to American citizens, provided that the person’s father had at some point been a resident of America. They said: “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States” (

      So, there we have it. If you’re born abroad to American parents, or at least one American parent, you’re a natural born citizen. Modern citizenship statutes don’t use the phrase “natural born citizen”, but most legal scholars agree that children born to US citizens, outside the geographic bounds of the US, are still “natural born citizens”.

      However, I still think it’s a bullshit clause. Naturalized citizens should be eligible for presidency, too, and someone should contest that as a kind of discrimination.

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