Thursday, February 28, 2008

The New York Times – Where Editors Retire on the Job

The New York Times has again distinguished itself with the sort of lazy, sloppy editing it has become famous for, particularly when it involves John McCain.

In a 28 February 2008 article, McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out, By CARL HULSE, The Times reports: “To date, no American to take the presidential oath has had an official birthplace outside the 50 states.”

This will come as quite a shock to the British, and to the first seven Presidents of the United States, who were all born on British soil as British subjects.

Our eighth President, Martin Van Buren, is arguable, since he was born in 1782 in New York, and the British considered all inhabitants of their American colony at that time to still be British subjects.

William Henry Harrison was President number nine, and was born in Virginia in 1773, three years before the Declaration of Independence. He was definitely born a British subject.

The Treaty of Paris in 1783 ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.

So, New York Times, since when is being born on foreign (British) territory to foreign (British) parents equal to having an official birthplace inside the fifty states?

This is not just an academic exercise. Thousands of American citizens have been born overseas to parents serving in the military service of the United States. Usually the place of birth for military dependents has been on property owned or under the control of the United States. To a much lesser extent, there are also and have been American citizens (civilians) born of American parents working overseas.

My oldest grand-daughter was born in a US Army hospital in Germany, which wasn’t unusual since her father, my oldest son, spent ten years stationed at Army posts in Germany. Although each of my three sons was born in the United States, each was born within a year of a time when I was stationed at overseas Air Force bases, first in Turkey, and later in the United Kingdom.

I would be incensed if an American like John McCain was barred from seeking our presidency because he was born overseas as a result of his father’s military service.

That would make about as much sense as a child of illegal immigrants being eligible to be President because its mother sneaked across the border and had her baby in a United States border-town hospital.

Oops, I almost blew that one, didn’t I?

That child of illegal immigrants is eligible to be President, but there are Democrats that insist that the children born of Americans while serving their country overseas are not.

That’s so typically Democrat. Reward illegal acts like sneaking across the border to produce an “American” baby, while penalizing Americans in service to their country.

And as always, aided and abetted by sloppy New York Times reporting and editing.

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