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Disturbing the birthers–priceless!

Sharon Rondeau, citizen journalist at the Post & Email web site, has interviewed Cold Case Posse commander Mike Zullo. In the interview, republished at Gerbil Report™, [cue the MAD-TV “Lowered Expectations” theme], Zullo is quoted:

The Post & Email spoke with Zullo, who told us that “there are going to be some findings that ‘birthers’ may find disturbing,” referring to those who specifically doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii, as he claims.

Since his two original disastrously-wrong but detail-filled news conferences, Mike Zullo has been very closed lipped about his investigation, giving no one anything more to evaluate or criticize. This stonewalling has been remarkably successful in taking off the heat from critics and letting birthers’ imaginations run free, and their hopes soar.

More difficult to parse is another Zullo remark from the interview:

The public doesn’t understand the type of evidence required in a law enforcement investigation. The word “evidence” is often used to describe information that cannot be supported by its own weight.  Evidence that cannot be supported or corroborated is in fact not evidence at all but often personal opinion or just mere speculation.   Real evidence is something that provides proof to ascertain the truth in a proceeding. It has to stand the test of scrutiny, cross-examination and ultimately be determined to be factual and relevant.

Zullo puts that last in the context of speculation that Frank Marshall Davis is Obama’s real father, a speculation devoid of any proof says Zullo. He goes on to suggest that birthers are making him look bad, and he clearly is trying to distance himself and his investigation from the birther movement itself, says Rondeau:

Zullo believes that this is the type of activity which has diminished the credibility of the topic.

Of course it was Zullo himself who promoted all manner of crank image analysis, fake race code tables and unsupported tales at the beginning, but I digress.

Specifically, Zullo criticizes birthers trying to make sense of his intentionally ambiguous remarks, such as those on the Cark Gallups radio program. Zullo seems to be saying that birthers are mistaken when they think he is saying anything understandable [unplug irony meters]:

There is no room for this kind of rabid speculation. This is how wild rumors get started and then are repeated enough times that information-hungry audiences start to believe it to be factually correct.

Some have speculated that Zullo is making a subtle reference to Lawrence Sellin’s interpretation of a Zullo conversation to conclude that some Obots had turned coat and are assisting in the Cold Case Posse investigation (an absurd suggestion because no Obot has anything that could assist Zullo in proving his nonsense conspiracy theories). But even this speculation would be misguided if we listen to Zullo, who taken at his word, is telling us that it’s a mistake to try get any information out of anything he says. Zullo also promised another press conference. Because Zullo was widely criticized for not meeting his previous promises about press conferences, he’s not setting a date for this next one.

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Taitz claims they’re all out to get her

Here’s the quote from her amended complaint (2nd part) in the Johnson case:

It is widely believed that each District Court and each U.S. Attorney’s office has individuals who are embedded in those offices and who are working for (National Security Agency) and FBI and not only gather information, but also tamper with records, similar to NSA tampering with phone records and e-mails, as reported by the federal whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Taitz goes on to say that this is why it appears that she sent some material directly to the judge that didn’t get on the docket. I wonder how Judge Hanen will react to that allegation of an NSA mole in his court? I wonder how Judge Hanen will react to Taitz misspelling his name on the amended complaint?

In addition, Taitz alleges that a potential witness was pressured to lie in an affidavit to make her look bad. I previously reported that Taitz represented to the court that Immigration officer, Ronald Zermeno , was willing to testify for her and to travel from California. In an affidavit, he said:

I never waived the application of Rule 45(c)(1), particularly since I have had no discussions or interactions with Dr. Taitz.

Taitz claims he was pressured to say that:

Under duress and under pressure of possible employment termination Zermeno signed a declaration where he claimed that he did not know who Taitz was until Judge Hanen ordered subpoenas to be signed on August 25, 2014 and that he did not want to testify.

In fact, several days prior to signing of the order to issue subpoenas, through written text messages and phone conversations with fellow border patrol officers, Zermeno agreed to appear at August 27, 2014 hearing before Judge Hanen and was willing to produce evidence of aforementioned violations by the defendants.

Taitz misrepresents the Zermeno affidavit that nowhere says he had never heard of Orly Taitz, and didn’t know who she was. Further, it appears clear that Zermeno was never properly served with the subpoena.

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Canadian Conspiracy Show meets the Birthers

OK, I haven’t watched this video beyond the first minute where it says:

His presidency became mired in controversy when researchers and political opponents alleged that Obama was not eligible…

spoken over images of Mitt Romney, Donald Trump and John McCain, two of whom never in any way questioned Obama’s eligibility.

That was enough to tell me that, like the typical UFO cable TV documentary, this isn’t meant to present the facts accurately and in context. The video features three birthers and one “skeptic.” The birthers are Mario Apuzzo, Phil Berg and Karl Denninger (an early crank image analyst that I have mostly ignored). The skeptic is Allenna Leonard, billed as “Committee Chair of Democrats Abroad Canada.”

I have had some indecision about how to present the video. I could embed it from the Canadian site, but I don’t know if that is fair use. So here are two links:

  1. Web page with video embedded and discussion forum (video has advertising)
  2. Link to raw video
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Birtherism as “make believe”

Over the years, I have attempted to find models to help me understand birthers. There are learned papers on the subject of conspiracy theory from the disciplines of history, psychology and political science. (Some of those are linked in my bookmarks, and some of the books are listed among the recommended one on the sidebar.)

Today as I was replying a comment at Gerbil Report™ about anti-birthers (Obots) who they say are now working with Mike Zullo and providing him with valuable information, I felt a sense of déjà vu. This was the comment from FatherTime (grammar errors in the original):

I’ve been watching this all day and I find it funny how Dr. C comes out first to challenge that no Obot has flip. Of all the Obots it was Dr. C.

I didn’t know but I have heard our good Dr. C was the one who flip but I’m sure he don’t want his follower Obots to know this. He also protest too much if he had not flip with his Challenged.

I may not have known before but now I’m sure Dr. C is the one who flip. Now I want to know who the other Obot is?

Upon reflection, the sense of familiarity comes from my early childhood, from fantasy games we played. They were so very much like the comments at Birther Report (albeit BR is much nastier than any kids I ever knew). These games consisted of some kind of fantasy scenario (army men, cowboys and Indians, Zorro) where we made up the story as we went along. In these stories we would sometimes dispute things, things completely contained within our completely made-up scenario. Sometimes we could get very angry in these disputes.  Birthers play games like army men, Perry Mason and CSI. We didn’t call them “role playing games” back then; our term was “make believe.”

The test of a model is whether it is predictive and whether actually provides value. I have a feeling that I’m going to have more peace of mind dealing with birthers at BR if I view them as adult children playing make believe.

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Flipped Obots named!

When looking up the recent article about Larry Klayman, I saw this comment over at Gerbil Report™ from Reagans_Ghost:

Wanna take a second here to THANK those Obots who decided to FLIP and HELP Zullo and the MCC Sheriff’s office out. The evidence you all provided was EXCEPTIONAL, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You may have all been TRAITORS at one point, but as a believer in Jesus Christ and a sinner myself, I’m always thankful when someone REPENTS and gets to REDEEM themselves. Once again, my thanks. You know who you are!!

Of course nobody on the birther side will name these alleged flipped Obots (they can’t). It’s just their way of trying to animate the corpse of the Cold Case Posse investigation, and inject hope into a hopeless situation.

However, I know the facts, and I have never been one to hide them. I know who the flipped Obots are, and I am not afraid to name them!

  • The Tooth Fairy
  • Santa Claus
  • Baba Yaga
  • Cinderella
  • The Wicked Witch of the West
  • Tom Bombadil
  • Paul Bunyan
  • Alfred Bulltop Stormalong
  • Koschei the Deathless
  • Snow White
  • Sinbad the Sailor
  • Pinocchio
  • The Big Bad Wolf
  • J. Thaddeus Toad
  • The Seven Dwarfs (except Doc)
  • Jiminy Cricket
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Easter Bunny
  • Chicken Little
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Obama attorney answers birther suit at SCOTUS

I believe the anonymous writer at Gerbil Report™ is correct in saying that this is the first time President Obama has responded to a birther petition at the Supreme Court. For whatever reason, attorney Mark Herron, who represented the President in the Florida case of Voeltz v. Obama, has filed a brief in opposition to the petition for a writ of mandamus by Voeltz. Florida Secretary of State Kenneth W. Detzner filed a waiver of his right to respond.

This case, sometimes called Voeltz III (as it is the third one by Voeltz in Florida), was famously dismissed for lack of jurisdiction by judge Kevin J. Carroll, writing:

This Court notes that President Obama lives in the White House. He flies on Air Force One. He has appeared before Congress, delivered State of the Union addresses, and meets with Congressional leaders on a regular basis. He has appointed countless ambassadors to represent the interests of the United States throughout the world. President Obama’s recent appointment of The Honorable Mark Walker, formerly a member of this Court, has been confirmed by the United States Senate. Judge Walker has been worn in as a United States District Court Judge and currently works at the Federal Courthouse down the Street. The Electoral College has recently done its work and elected Mr. Obama to be President once again. As this matter has come before the Court at this time of the year it seems only appropriate to paraphrase the ruling rendered by the fictional Judge Henry X. Harper from New York in open court in the classic holiday film Miracle on 34th St. “Since the United States Government declares this man to be President, this Court will not dispute it. Case dismissed.”

The Florida Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in this case, citing lack of jurisdiction. (Here, Florida law prevents their Supreme Court from hearing an appeal of a per curiam [in the name of the court] affirming appellate decision without opinion.)

The specific relief being requested by Voeltz is:

Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court issue a writ of mandamus compelling the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit in and for Leon County, Florida to hear to the case on the merits and issue a declaratory judgment as to the eligibility of Barack Obama to serve as President of the United States.

Attorney Mark Herron responds in his brief in opposition to the petition by arguing that state courts do not have jurisdiction to adjudicate presidential eligibility, that this responsibility is “…committed under the Constitution to the electors and to Congress…” and further that an extraordinary measure such as a writ of mandamus is not justified. A writ of mandamus is an order directing someone to so something that they have an obligation to do, and is issued when no other remedy is available. Herron argues that there is no obligation whatever for the Florida court to vacate its order and try the case on the merits rather than dismissing it.

Voeltz is being represented by birther attorney Larry Klayman. Mark Herron had previously moved for sanctions against Klayman in this case.

Documents:

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