Monday, April 25, 2011

Another Depressing Fact

Caption: The short form of Barack Obama's birth certificate, which is valid proof of birth everywhere except in the minds of a few froth-mouthed idiots.

Image credit: click here for full size

Writing this almost two years ago:
The sad thing about conspiracy theories is that once they get started, they never really die. The 9/11 "Truthers" are a case in point. The evidence that they were wrong has been presented so many times, in so many ways, that you'd have to be deliberately ignoring it not to see it. No doubt, there are still people who believe that the Clintons had Vince Foster killed.

Now, we have a new conspiracy theory for a new age. The adherents of this theory believe that Barack Obama isn't a natural born U.S. citizen, and therefore not qualified to be President.

Another Wacko Conspiracy Theory Is Born
And yet, as Taylor Marsh notes, we now have at least one "serious" Presidential candidate who says he thinks that Barack Obama isn't a natural-born American citizen. This is beyond absurd.

Let me quote from the individual whose job it was to check the validity of birth records in Hawaii, back in 2008:
There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.

Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai‘i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

Statement By Dr. Chiyome Fukino
For convenience's sake, I added the link to the law the document refers to.

As the non-partisan organization Fact Check pointed out back in 2008:
We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

Born In The U.S.A.
That link has photos taken by Fact Check's reporters of the original birth certificate.

Politifact also looked into the allegations. Here is their conclusion, also from 2008:
At PolitiFact.com, we're all about original sources. We don't take anyone at their word or take the reporting of other media organizations as proof. We go to the heart of the story, the source of the truth — original, corroborating documents.

When the official documents were questioned, we went looking for more answers. We circled back to the Department of Health, had a newsroom colleague bring in her own Hawaii birth certificate to see if it looks the same (it's identical). But every answer triggered more questions.

And soon enough, after going to every length possible to confirm the birth certificate's authenticity, you start asking, what is reasonable here?

Because if this document is forged, then they all are.

Obama's birth certificate: Final chapter
The pathetic excuse that Obama didn't publish the long form of his birth certificate is some of the most feeble grasping for straws that I've witnessed in American political discourse. No one who isn't convinced by the evidence produced so far is going to be convinced if that form ever makes it into the public record. As Fact Check notes:
The certificate has all the elements the State Department requires for proving citizenship to obtain a U.S. passport: "your full name, the full name of your parent(s), date and place of birth, sex, date the birth record was filed, and the seal or other certification of the official custodian of such records." The names, date and place of birth, and filing date are all evident on the scanned version, and you can see the seal above.

Born In The U.S.A.
In sum, the short form indicates that someone in officialdom has checked the long form, and it's as legitimate as any form can be in a U.S. government bureaucracy.

As National Public Radio points out, there was plenty of corroborating evidence for his birth in the local newspapers:
FactCheck.org and Politifact and a number of independent fact checking groups have also pointed out that there are two contemporaneous birth announcements in newspapers, The Honolulu Advertiser and The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, announcing the birth of Barack Obama on August 4th, 1961.

What Impact Do 'Birthers' Have On GOP's 2012 Field?
Which, as far as anyone who is in the least bit sane is concerned, is enough. I'm as skeptical as the next guy, but there comes a point where skepticism becomes obstinacy, and that's where these people are now. Note how often the words "in 2008" and "in 2009" come up just in this short article. This matter was settled long ago.

I wish Barack Obama weren't the President. The man is worse than useless. If you want a list of reasons, check this list, or just check the Barack Obama keyword here, and have at it. But the man was born in the United States, and he was elected President by a wide margin. That makes him at least as qualified for the office as his predecessor, whose legitimacy seems to be beyond question to nearly all of the people who don't want to believe Obama belongs in the White House.

It's absolutely depressing to realize that I will probably have reason to write about this subject two years from now, because people refuse to listen no matter how obvious it is that I'm telling the truth. The same fools will believe the same nonsense two years from now, just as people keep believing that George W. Bush knocked down the World Trade Center, and that progressives will get what they want some day by supporting Democrats hard enough.

The human ability to ignore basic facts would be absolutely awe-inspiring if it weren't so damn depressing.


2 comments:

James Ala said...

[F]or the Republican Party of the United States. Not only is being ignorant a plus, being belligerently ignorant is a requirement in the primaries.

...

[W]hat they (the Republicans) really are talking about when the go cuckoo for coca puffs over Obama’s supposed socialism; it is code for “ no way I’m supporting a Ni**er President.” If Barack was still Barry and the last name was spelled O’ Bama and he was a rosy-cheeked, fair skinned scion of √Črin from Boston, no one in their right mind would be squawking to see that man’s birth certificate. But since Obama is a mixed-race man from the Aloha state, a small coterie of thumb-sucking fools wants to see his long-form.

Snip

Ah my furry friend, great minds do think alike. I did cover some of this ground in "The Donald." Let me scratch that itch behind your ear and tell you the ways of the world my good puppy.

Facts do not matter in the discussion of BO's birth certificate. This is code for "no way I’m supporting a Ni**er President.” For the most part this is a conscience decision.

Trying to cloud the issue here with provable facts is a lost cause. This is the Reptile Brain we are dealing with Cujo359. This is unvarnished racism attempting to hide behind a thin patina of respectability.

The other bit you are dealing with is how CTs work. Once any person embraces a all singing, all dancing, explanation for an event it is game, set, match. The person is now totally invested in that world view and it becomes "turtles all the way down." You'll have better luck talking to the Seattle Space Needle.

Life is short, and the apple blossoms must be blooming or soon to bloom. Do you really have time to waste with these Birther simpletons? Rainier must be beautiful this time of year. I know NoCal is being rather stunning, the wild poppies are out. So take a breather and a hike. Puget Sound is ravishing when the sun come out to play. Why not play with it?

Cujo359 said...

As I mentioned the last time we discussed this issue, there are certainly racists among the birthers. I suspect that there are also quite a few xenophobes among them - people who see that Obama who grew up in exotic places like Indonesia and Hawaii, and figure he must be up to no good as a result.

Still, letting this nonsense go unanswered doesn't strike me as a good idea. To stupid people, silence is a sign of agreement, or at least a sign that they should carry on with whatever stupid things they feel they have to inflict on the rest of us.

I'm not obsessed about this, but it does bother me. It's foolish to have to argue about it this long after the thing was settled, yet here we are. Nothing is going to dissuade people who already believe this nonsense, but keeping silent only means there will be more of them later.