Main Menu

Barack Obama: The Burden of His Kenyan Roots–a book review

David Karanja is a Kenyan journalist and author. His 2011 book, Barack Obama: The Burden of His Kenyan Roots, touches on some of the same topics that have appeared in the birther movement. The book was published in the context of the run-up to Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and makes the case that Obama’s Kenyan roots are an impediment to his political career.

Karanja mentions briefly Jerome Corsi’s expulsion from Kenya, the accusations of anti-British feeling engendered by events in Kenya’s colonial period, and even gives a shout out to the birthers, albeit a misspelled one:

For Barack Obama, the claim by these Americans, who are popularly known as the berther (sic) movement, is an unnecessary burden because all available evidence indicates that the president was born in the U.S. To try and end debate over his place of birth, Obama published his birth certificate, which indicates he was born in Hawaii. This has not ended the debate and some Americans, including senior politicians, continue to link his birth to Kenya.

The author goes on to cite attacks against the President through stories about members of his Kenyan family, George Hussein Onyango Obama (the poor neglected uncle) and Zeituni Onyango (who was living illegally in the US). The Court’s decision to grant asylum to “Aunt Zeituni” was widely criticized in Kenya.

The review of recent Kenyan history and US-Kenyan relations is the meat of the book and what commends it to a wider audience.

34

Birthers’ basket case

Santilli loose on the White House lawn?

Mike Volin was on the Pete Santilli radio show a few days ago. A YouTube video has part of the show, and a discussion. From the show:

Santilli: I’m going to offer this to Mike Zullo, all right? Do you believe, based on the information you have on your web site, the investigation that Sheriff Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse has investigated, do you believe that right now, that if you were to put everything into a basket, OK, or a brief case, that there is enough information, set aside “willing to” or “not willing to,” set that aside. Is there enough information right now that could get Barack Obama arrested if we apply the law, that he has broken the law and he needs to go behind bars, and of course in a court of law all this evidence needs to be presented. But is there enough evidence to throw him in jail?

Mike Volin: Absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Fox NewsSantilli: OK, here’s what I am going to offer up to you. You ready? You can do this. I could call up Mike Zullo and offer this. I’m not going to. OK? I’m going to put out a challenge to Mike Zullo and Sheriff Arpaio. With the assistance of law enforcement, if they have information right now that shows that Barack Obama has committed fraud, has perpetrated fraud upon the American people, tell him I’ll meet him in front of the White House and I will volunteer with them, with with the assistance of law enforcement and the United States Marine Corps and the Secret Service, I will jump over, with the assistance of course of law enforcement, lawful and constitutional, of the front fence of the White House and go in there and deliver that information of course they probably will just let me go. They won’t stop me, of course. But if there’s enough evidence, OK, that he’s broken the law, I would be prepared in order to bring this to the American people. I’ll live stream it, if Zullo will meet me out front. I’m not going to wait until an election. If he wants to meet me, I’ll jump on a flight, right now and I will meet him in front of the White House, on principal, on law, on Constitutionality, and with the help of law enforcement, with the military, with the Secret Service, with the Department of Justice, all of those people, I’d volunteer do that. And if they want to arrest me, I’ll bring evidence to court to show that I am justified in doing so, on behalf of the people of the United States of America. Will you get that information to Mike Zullo?

This is what I heard in all of that. Pete Santilli, unwilling to stand for election, has made himself the representative of the American people, and has offered to lead a military coup against the President of the United States. While he talks about “Constitutionality,” he totally ignores the Constitution in several ways. He ignores the fact that our Founders set up a system of checks and balances, and it is the Congress of the United States that the Constitution assigns the power to remove a President upon conviction for “high crimes.” It is not assigned to the military, the Secret Service, the Justice Department, law enforcement or some talk show host. The second major unconstitutional flaw is in the Bill of Rights (part of the Constitution):

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger…

It is the opinion of prior US Attorneys General that a sitting President cannot be indicted or arrested for a crime. To allow that would impede the functioning of government and violate the separation of powers under the Constitution.

Santilli just wants to jump over the fence with his information. Of course Santilli would be arrested (assuming he wasn’t shot on sight) just like any other fruit cake who tries such a stunt. Santilli would never have the opportunity to present any of his birther “information” before the court because it is irrelevant to the crime of violating the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. Who made Pete Santilli the representative of the American people? I seem to recall that Barack Obama is the one elected President.

56

Good citizenship, Dr. Conspiracy’s other hat

My joining Civitan International has nothing whatever to do with this blog. Civitan’s motto: “builders of good citizenship” and questions of citizenship covered on this blog are purely coincidental. That said, the question of how a good citizen acts does relate to both of them. While birthers like to put on the robes of patriotism, I think birtherism is neither patriotic nor representative of good citizenship.

I believe that quality public discourse is a civic virtue, and that extends to this blog. I am proud of the 3,562 articles published on this site, particularly those articles that educate, inform and correct misinformation. That said, the 2012 presidential election is over and nothing that birthers do really matters any more (unless a rogue birther branches out into criminal acts). Countering birther nonsense is not as valuable, now that nothing is at stake. Consequently, I am spending less time blogging about birthers these days.

I wrote earlier that I had signed up to be a poll manager in my county. I take my oath next Tuesday and I’ll be putting in 14 hours at the polls come election day. Attending my local political party meetings has also been on my agenda. I have been working on Habit for Humanity houses a lot over the last couple of months. I am on the board of the local Civitan Club and do several jobs for my church. I volunteered at the Special Olympics. Indeed I now have to put everything on a calendar to avoid conflicts, I am scheduled so much. All of that is on top of quite a bit of tourism. So these days I’m wearing many hats.

Dr. Conspiracy on the roof wearing Hard Hat

I don’t list all these volunteer activities to say what a fine citizen I am, but to suggest to birthers more productive ways to channel their energies. I have the luxury of being healthy and retired, making my particular choices possible, but others can be good citizens in other ways.

18

You might be a birther if…

Commenter Jim wrote:

Wish I could find the old Jeff Foxworthy takeoff I wrote years ago

“If you think a used car salesman playing cop is more reliable than the State of Hawaii, yew might be a birther.”

I think I had about 30-40 of them.

Help Jim out with some new ones. Here’s one of mine:

You might be a birther if you think removing the red eye from the pictures of your kid’s birthday party with Photoshop makes you a forensic document expert.

Not recommended, but you could check out:

53

“I’m not a cop”

That’s what one Sun City posse member says in this video clip from “The Joe Show.” One of the most important jobs of the Sun City Posse is to check on peoples’ houses while they are on vacation.

I check the front door to make sure it’s locked. I rig the doorbell to make sure nobody’s home. I try the garage doors. If I find anything wrong, if I find a door open, if I find a broken window, anything that looks suspicious, I’m out of there. I’m not a cop.

35