When I was little, and pouted with my bottom lip stuck way out, my Mother used to tell me, “Squeeky, you better stop that right now, or your face might freeze that way!” I used to worry a lot about that. Thankfully, it wasn’t true, as Nat Segaloff points out:
Unless one is afflicted with a form of paralysis such as Bell’s palsy or myasthenia gravis, there is little chance that one’s face will ever “freeze” in a specific position. This advice falls into the same category as “Don’t cross your eyes. I knew a kid who did that and his eyes stayed that way forever.” For either change to occur, one’s muscles would have to become detached and replaced, or lock in spasm. And either contingency can be surgically corrected.
But, I think something like that does happen with our thought processes. If we play with delusions and paranoia on a daily basis, perhaps we risk our brains freezing that way.
Many of the two citizen parents Birthers seem to have Sovereign Citizen roots. I see the Sovereign Citizens as their Big Brother, who teaches them bad habits, and slips booze to them on the Q.T. Both groups have major difficulty accepting the simple legal reality that the 14th Amendment simply put into writing, and into the U.S. Constitution, the English common law concept of natural born citizen. Persons born in the United States are natural born citizens regardless of the citizenship of the parents. (As long as the parents aren’t foreign diplomats or invading soldiers.)
The delusion comes in when both groups refuse to accept decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts which are contrary to their mistaken beliefs . In their minds, what is a legal question, and what has already been decided by the courts, is meaningless to them. Instead, they invent delusional Imaginary Laws to support their tenets. This is hardly the only idiotic legal argument they advance.
To some of them, Gold Fringe on a flag in the court room changes the whole thing over to some kind of Admiralty Court. Capital letters and punctuation in court filings provide either complete safety or total danger, depending on the situation. I have provided this link before, but it very important to establish the grossly insane and delusional belief system of these people:
The Birther legal arguments fit right in with this nonsense. The two citizen parent nonsense is made out of whole cloth, or more appropriately the hole cloth of discarded ideas. But these idiotic notions don’t just sit somewhere in Limbo and poke their heads out once in a while as grist for late night drunken conversations in a Hillbilly Honky Tonk. Which brings us to Paper Terrorism, which Wiki defines this as:
Paper terrorism is a neologism to refer to the use of false liens, frivolous lawsuits, bogus letters of credit, and other legal documents lacking sound factual basis as a method of harassment, especially against government officials. These methods are popular among some anti-government groups and those associated with the redemption movement. Mark Pitcavage of the ADL states that these methods were pioneered by the Posse Comitatus. Some victims of paper terrorism have been forced to declare bankruptcy.
An article by the Southern Poverty Law Center states that another tactic is filing reports with the Internal Revenue Service falsely accusing their political enemies of having unreported income. Such frivolous lawsuits also clog the court system making it more difficult to process other cases and including using challenges to the titles of property owned by government officials and others. Another method of paper terrorism is filing bankruptcy petitions against others in an effort to ruin their credit ratings.
The Birthers have followed in their Big Brother’s footsteps, and now even have a Do It Yourself Eligibility lawsuit template to make it easier for more idiots to sue in more courts. The same result follows as each Birther lawsuit crashes and burns, but the nonsense continues. If the whole issue stayed here on some juvenile delinquent loony lawsuit level, then sooner or later when Obama is out of office, the Birther lunacy would die by suffocation as all the oxygen gets sucked out of the movement.
But the danger is that the Birthers will also imitate the other bad behavior of the Sovereign Citizens. I think you can just toy with madness for so long, and then you simply slip into full-time delusional and paranoid thinking. At some point, these people can completely lose any connection to reality. As happened once again this last week in Louisiana:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — At least some of the seven people arrested in a fatal shootout with Louisiana deputies have been linked to violent anarchists on the FBI’s domestic terrorism watch lists, a sheriff said Saturday.
Detectives had been monitoring the group before Thursday’s shootout in Laplace in which two deputies were killed and two more wounded, said DeSoto Parish Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle. His detectives and other law enforcement discovered the suspects were heavily armed adherents to an ideology known as the “sovereign citizens” movement.
Sovereign citizens are a loosely organized movement founded in the 1970s and more fully developed in the 1980s, according to the Anti-Defamation League website. Sovereign citizens believe that all levels of government have no jurisdiction over them and resist — sometimes with violence — authority including police, the website said.
They also like to use what is dubbed “paper terrorism.” It involves using frivolous lawsuits and fake documents and of using genuine documents such as IRS forms to intimidate, harass and coerce public officials, law enforcement officers and private citizens.
This isn’t the first such incident, and won’t be the last. What started off as stupid and delusional legal beliefs morphed over time into something far worse. Reasonable paranoia about government crossed the line into psychosis. My GUESS is that these people are Birthers to boot, but that is probably secondary to what happened. The perps sound like they were well on the way to Madness before Obama.
But what I wonder is, when will Birthers fall into the same pattern? How long will it be before somebody who continues to deny legal reality slips over into denying other aspects of reality??? How long will it be before somebody who thinks Obama is kept in illegitimate authority by a corrupt judicial system, a corrupt Congress, and traitors galore – – – how long before some of those people succumb to the delusions and paranoia and just snap???
If this Reality isn’t satisfying enough, for Heaven’s sake they should join a Renaissance Group, or historical re-enactment troup. Or, apply at their local Little Theatre. Delusions and paranoia are just not things you can play with on a daily basis without serious risks.
Note 1. The Image. This is the well known psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lector, from the Thomas Harris novels and related movies. I think this particular shot is from the 1991 film, Silence of the Lambs. In a later film, Hannibal (2001), Dr. Lector feeds one of his victims slices of his own pre-frontal cortex.
The caption is Birther Appropriate. As Wiki says:
The Image Easter Egg is a “demonic French” word play on “You! hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, – mon frère!”: or, “Hypocrite reader! – my likeness, – my brother!” from a famous poem. The Easter Egg line, “Hypocrite Birther! Vous semblable votre soeur!” poorly translates as Hyprocrite Birther, you like your sister(soeur)! But soeur sort of sounds like “sewer”, thus. . . Hyprocrite Birther!, You like your sewer!
This is a “All your base are belong to us” kind of translation. Semblabe properly translates as either like the adjective meaning similar, or like the noun meaning likeness, but not as like the verb meaning to feel an attraction for. Sooo, don’t say this in France. They will look at you strangely.
Note 2. Made Out Of Whole Cloth: I found this on the Internet:
The phrase “made out of whole cloth” (and variants) currently means “utterly without foundation in fact, completely fictitious.” This sense for “whole cloth” dates to 1840.
The meaning of the phrase “made out of whole cloth” appears to have begun to change in the United States in the first half of the 19th century. The OED labels the falsehood sense “U.S. colloquial or slang”, and provides a citation from 1843: “Isn’t this entire story … made out of whole cloth?” The change of meaning may have arisen from deceptive trade practices. Charles Earle Funk suggests that 19th-century tailors advertising whole cloth may really have been using patched cloth or cloth that was falsely stretched to appear to be full-width.
Alternatively, the modern figurative meaning of “whole cloth” may depend on a lie’s having sprung whole ex nihilo, having no connection with existing facts. All-newness distinguishes garments and lies made out of whole cloth. This is a positive characteristic for clothes, but not for the average tissue of lies and deception.
See here for the entire fascinating discussion of the phrase: