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Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Barack Obama and factcheck.org

If you read the comments to some of my pieces on Philip J. Berg's case that Barack Obama is inelgible to serve as US President, you will see that I have an upset correspondent. He seems a little slow and so I have had to explain things to him over and over again. You can read his comments and my replies after this piece and this piece.

"smrstrauss" seems to place great reliance on factcheck.org "confirming" that Barack Obama's Hawaiian birth-certificate is legitimate. I have had to point out the links between Barack Obama and FactCheck.org.

As I said to "smrstrauss" -
"So the organisation that you and other trusting people are relying upon for "fair" fact checking is, as the left would say in the UK, "institutionally biased" in favour of Barack Obama."


If you are interested in this rather murky area, can I recommend some further reading:
1. Purple Vote
2. Death by 100 paper cuts
3. Blogs4McCain who provide this very useful clarification:
"Clarification: The connection between Obama and Ayers is through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge that received money from the Annenburg Foundation, but the Chicago Annenburg Challenge Challenge and the
Annenburg Foundation are not directly connected philosophically. The earmark Senator Obama requested was for the Annenburg Foundation, which funded the Chicago Annenburg Challenge and also funds FactCheck.org. Obama is tied to both groups one via earmark, the other via direct participation, however, Ayers is not directly connected to FactCheck.org.
"


I hope that makes matters clear. Meanwhile the majority of the US media and the BBC in the UK push the 'vote Obama' "narrative" and "worry" that only white racism could prevent his election.

7 comments:

smrstrauss said...

Whow “institutionally biased.” Well, if anyone takes a look at FactCheck, they will find that FactCheck has a lot of comments chiding Obama for making false statements about McCain. I think that that should show that they are NOT institutionally biased.

Moreover, it was not just FactCheck alone. Politifact reached the same conclusion.

And, after all, the doubts that Obama’s Hawaii birth records are valid really stem from allegations that he was born somewhere else than Hawaii.

This can be proven from the simple fact that Americans have never asked a candidate for president to show birth records before this election. From Washington through Bush all they had to do was say that they were born in the USA and that was good enough. But this election is different.

This time we have some folks who claim that one candidate, Obama, was born in Kenya, though they have not published or shown any of their proof. Philip Berg has said for example that he has an audio tape of Obama’s grandmother saying that she attended his birth in Kenya (which would have been when it was British East Africa). But Berg has not played that tape for anyone.

In short, there is evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii. There is absolutely no evidence that he was born elsewhere.

Not a sheep said...

Here we go again, you seem incapable of logical thought: "This can be proven from the simple fact that Americans have never asked a candidate for president to show birth records before this election. From Washington through Bush all they had to do was say that they were born in the USA and that was good enough. But this election is different."
How is that proof? Yet another logical fallacy from smrstrauss.

I note that you have moved from the thread where you started making comments, is that an attempt to avoid addressing the questions that I posted there for you?

smrstrauss said...

Well, you did not believe FactCheck.Org. And you did not believe Polifact.Com.

Will you believe this?

State declares Barack Obama's Hawaii birth certificate is genuine

By Associated Press
6:43 PM EDT, October 31, 2008

HONOLULU (AP) _ State officials say there's no doubt Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said Friday she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate.

Fukino says that no state official, including Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, ever instructed that Obama's certificate be handled differently.

She says state law bars release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who does not have a tangible interest.

===


Friday, October 31, 2008 - 11:51 AM HAST (That means Hawaii/Aleutian Standard Time)
Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate confirmed
Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed on Friday what Barack Obama has been saying all along: the presidential candidate was born in Honolulu.

“There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate,” said Chiyome Fukino. “State law prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.”

Citing her statutory authority to oversee and maintain Hawaii’s vital records, Fukino said she has “personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

“No state official, including Gov. Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawaii,” Fukino added.

Lingle, a Republican, has been campaigning on the Mainland for Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu. He graduated high school at Punahou School in 1979.

These two versions of the same report seem clear enough. The birth certificate is on file in Hawaii and it is valid.

However, the opponents of Obama simply will not give up. I have seen one Web comment that went along these lines: "It could have been a valid Kenyan birth certificate on file in Hawaii that the Hawaii official was talking about."

Laughable, of course, why would a Kenyan birth certificate be filed in Hawaii?

Now that this is past, let us debate the issues.

Not a sheep said...

You have no interest in debating the issues or in the truth, you simply want to keep Barack Obama's past a secret. At the end of a "comment conversation" I said:

"I'll tell you what, I will push for Barack Obama's grandmother's tape to be broadcast when the LA Times allows the tape they admit they have of Barack Obama praising the rather unpleasant Palestinian Rashid Khalidi.

You know that there are a lot of questions about Barack Obama's post, like the media you seem happy not to delve too deep - are you scared of what you might find?"

Have you any comments on whether the LA Times should keep protecting Barack Obama by not releasing the Rashid Khalidi tape?

smrstrauss said...

Further to the discussion of Obama’s place of birth.

I found this on line after I wrote the previous about the absence of information from Kenya. There is still no proof that Obama’s mother was in Kenya at the time of his birth. (And, as I said, this would be easy to prove from Kenyan records of people arriving in Kenya in 1961.)

However, I have further information showing that Obama WAS born in Hawaii. As you know, the evidence up to now was the posted Certificate of Live birth on Obama’s site, which was checked out by FactCheck and Polifact. But you argued that they are not reliable. The next fact was the statement from the two officials in Hawaii confirming that they had seen Obamas’ files and what they saw confirmed that he was born in Hawaii

This you dismissed, but you did not say why.

The latest, which I just found on line, is a report from two of the cases seeking to have Obama thrown off the ballot. As you know, many of these cases were dismissed for lack of standing of the plaintiffs to sue.

However, in two cases, the judge did examine the evidence. In the Ohio case, the judge found the allegations that Obama was born outside the USA laughable:

"(Neal) presented no witnesses but himself. From that testimony, it is abundantly clear that the allegations in [Neal]'s complaint concerning "questions" about Senator Obama's status as a "natural born citizen" are derived from Internet sources, the accuracy of which has not been demonstrated to either Defendant Brunner or this Magistrate ... Given the paucity of evidence... this Magistrate cannot conclude that Defendant Brunner has abused her discretion in failing to launch an investigation into Senator Obama's qualifications to hold the office of President of the United States. "

That was last week.

Now I see that the ruling in the Virginia case has been issued today (Nov. 3), also looking at the facts of the case. I must assume that the blogger who has posted the following has made a fair summary. I do not know how to go into the VA court files to see the original document, if it is posted.

However, the man who posted it, WildBill, was apparently one of the ones bringing suit against Obama. Though he is disappointed, he accepts the ruling and summarizes it.

It appears on:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2123806/posts

Quotes:

The Court made the following findings:

1. The Certification of Live Birth presented to the court is unquestionably authentic.

The court noted that the certification had a raised seal from the state of Hawaii, had a stamp bearing the signature of the registrar of vital statistics. The court found “wholly unpersuasive” any of the internet claims that the birth certificate was altered in any way. Furthermore, the document itself was accompanied by an affidavit from the State Health Director (of Hawaii) verifying that the document is an authentic certification of live birth. The court held that there could be no doubt that the document was authentic unless one believed that the state of Hawaii’s health department were in on an elaborate and complex conspiracy – and that there is not a shred of evidence that this is the case.

2. The Certification of Live Birth establishes that Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen.

The affidavit of the State Health Director states that the information on the CLOB is identical to the information on the “vault” copy of the birth certificate, and that both documents establish that Mr. Obama was born in Honolulu. The Court noted that the CLOB is valid for all citizenship purposes. The court noted our argument that the COLB is not valid for determining citizenship, but referred us to Hawaiian law that states otherwise. “There is no difference between a certificate and a certification of live birth in the eyes of the state. For instance, either can be used to confirm U.S. citizenship to obtain a passport or state ID.” The court found that Hawaiian law makes the COLB valid for all purposes with the exception of determining native Hawaiian heritage for certain state and federal benefits. The court held that if Mr. Obama were born elsewhere and the birth registered in Hawaii, the “place of birth” line on the COLB would reflect that fact. The court stated that there could be no doubt that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and that any argument to the contrary was fanciful and relied on completely unsubstantiated internet rumors.

3. For that reason, 8 U.S.C. §1401(g), which at the relevant time provided as follows:

“The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: ***(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than ten years, at least five of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:.....

is irrelevant to this matter, as Mr. Obama was conclusively born in Hawaii.

4. Mr. Obama did hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and Kenya until he became an adult. When Barack Obama Jr. was born Kenya was a British colony. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.'s children:

“British Nationality Act of 1948 (Part II, Section 5): Subject to the provisions of this section, a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of the birth.” In other words, at the time of his birth, Barack Obama Jr. was both a U.S. citizen (by virtue of being born in Hawaii) and a citizen of the United Kingdom by virtue of being born to a father who was a citizen of the UK. Obama's UK citizenship became an Kenyan citizenship on Dec. 12, 1963, when Kenya formally gained its independence from the United Kingdom. The court noted that Chapter VI, Section 87 of the Kenyan Constitution specifies that:

1. Every person who, having been born in Kenya, is on 11th December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December, 1963...

2. Every person who, having been born outside Kenya, is on 11th December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall, if his father becomes, or would but for his death have become, a citizen of Kenya by virtue of subsection (1), become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December, 1963.

Thus the court held that as a citizen of the UK who was born in Kenya, Obama's father automatically received Kenyan citizenship via subsection (1). So given that Obama qualified for citizen of the UK status at birth and given that Obama's father became a Kenyan citizen via subsection (1), thus Obama did in fact have Kenyan citizenship in 1963. However, the court further held that the Kenyan Constitution prohibits dual citizenship for adults. Kenya recognizes dual citizenship for children, but Kenya's Constitution specifies that at age 21, Kenyan citizens who possesses citizenship in more than one country automatically lose their Kenyan citizenship unless they formally renounce any non-Kenyan citizenship and swear an oath of allegiance to Kenya. The court held that there was no evidence that Mr. Obama has ever renounced his U.S. citizenship or sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4, 1982.

The court held that there was no legal requirement that Mr. Obama renounce his Kenyan citizenship or affirm his U.S. citizenship in order to maintain his status as a natural born citizen.

5. Mr. Obama did not lose his U.S. Citizenship based on the acts of his parents, including adoption by an Indonesian citizen. The Court held that no action taken by the parents of an American child can strip that child of his citizenship. The court cited to the 1952 Immigration & Nationality Act, Title III, Chapter 3, Sections 349 and 355, which was in effect in the late 1960s when Obama went to Indonesia, and which stated that a minor does not lose his US citizenship upon the naturalization of his parents or any other actions of his parents, so long as the minor returns to the US and establishes permanent US residency before the age of 21. Thus the adoption of Obama did not serve to strip him of his U.S. citizenship. The fact that Indonesian law does not allow dual citizenship is irrelevant, as U.S. law controls. Furthermore, the Court held that traveling on a foreign passport does not strip an American of his citizenship. The Court noted first that there was no evidence that Mr. Obama traveled on an Indonesian passport (Mr. Berg and others we reached out to for evidence never provided any evidence of this claim or any other of the claims we could have used some proof of.) Nonetheless, the court held that such travel does not divest an American of his citizenship.

The Court makes other holdings and findings that I won’t bother you with here. Needless to say, the decision is wholly against us. The court finds the claims against Mr. Obama’s citizenship “wholly unpersuasive and bordering on the frivolous, especially in light of the complete absence of any first-hand evidence on any critical issue” and further classifies it as “conspiracy theory of the lowest sort, fueled by nothing than internet rumor and those who truly want to believe egging each other on.”


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Virginia

End Quote

I sure like the part about “conspiracy theory of the lowest sort.”

Of course, this is only one federal court. It could be appealed. I get the feeling that the US Supreme Court wouldn’t touch it. Not a chance. They’d take one look at this case, and at the lack of evidence, and throw the appeal in the trash.

But don’t take it too hard. There is still the election tomorrow. Maybe Obama will lose.

Sadly, I just saw that Obama's American grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died. One part of the terrible nastiness of this issue was that some of the critics of Obama alleged that she was not really all that sick (since she was still alive when they commented), but he went to Hawaii not really to visit her but really to do something with the files of his birth in the Hawaii state records.

Not a sheep said...

Odd that you keep banging on about the birth certificate story but completely ignore my questions about Barack Obama praising the rather unpleasant Palestinian Rashid Khalidi. I wonder why that would be...

smrstrauss said...

I did not ignore your comment about Rashid Khalidi. I posted it before, but apparently it did not get through.

The reason I do not comment on it is that it is not my area of expertise. I have not looked at the matter.

Besides, the Khalidi issue is not a constitutional issue. It is an issue of facts relevant to how we should vote. I have already voted and so have millions and millions more.

The Kenya issue relates to the constitution and is a conspiracy theory, along the lines of the US government planned 911, or the government was behind JFK's death, or that the Republicans plotted Lincoln's death.

Some conspiracies turn out to be true, of course.

But it seems to me that those who promulgate the conspiracy theories owe it to the world to show proof that they are true.

In the case of Obama being born in Kenya, it would be so easy to go to Kenyan records of arrivals and departures in 1961, check to see if Obama's mother had arrived before his birth and left after, and then posted this fact.

We have nothing like that. I see that the critics of Obama have made their tape available, like about one or two days before the election. I have listened to it, and it is not clear that the grandmother understood the question. That being the case, it is hardly evidence. In fact, it is hardly evidence anyway. You need a document to show that Obama's mother was in Kenya in 1961.

I do not find it odd to "keep banging" about the birth certificate story. You started it, and someone should finish it.

It is time to let the world know that Obama was born in Hawaii.

I am now willing to bet that the US supreme court will never take this case, or if it does, it will rule just the way the court in virginia ruled, which was that Obama was born in Hawaii and issues related to his dual nationality are irrelevant.

When you hear the results of the vote late tonight or early tomorrow, consider that we Americans KNEW all the scandalous things about Obama: his minister, Ayers, to some extent Khalidi (at least we knew that there was association), and even the allegations that Obama was a Moslem, and that there were allegations that he was born in Kenya.

And if we elect him DESPITE all that, what does that say about us?