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Anniversaries

I failed to note two important anniversaries yesterday. I was reminded of the first by Bill Bryan via Twitter. It was the 6th anniversary of the first birther lawsuit, Berg v. Obama, filed August 21, 2008.

The second is the 55th anniversary of statehood for Hawaii, admitted to the union August 21, 1959. I remember the year well because as a child I had a phonograph record titled “59 Anthology” from the Longines-Wittnauer company. Alaska became a state that year too. It was also the year the Russians crashed a rocket on the Moon, and when the Dali Lama fled Tibet.

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Birthers disgust me?

I was over at Gerbil Report™ earlier today looking for something to replace the current worn-out quote of the day, and if you had asked me my reaction to the comments there (including my head Photoshopped onto a nude male cuddling up to Barack Obama), I would have said “disgusting.” I would say that about a lot of birtherism, and my reaction rekindled interest in something I had set aside a couple of weeks ago.

In my article, “Negativity merchants,” I quoted a scientific study that included these words:

A rapidly growing body of empirical evidence documents a multitude of ways in which liberals and conservatives differ from each other in purviews of life with little direct connection to politics, from tastes in art to desire for closure and from disgust sensitivity to the tendency to pursue new information…

I was curious when I published that as to where liberals and conservatives appear within the disgust spectrum, but didn’t follow up then; today I did. The results surprised me, who thought nothing was too disgusting for the extreme right wing to say. In an article at the National Journal titled “Gay Marriage and the Political Psychology of Disgust,” the result was presented as the opposite of what I guessed:

Here’s the state of the science of disgust right now. Conservatives are thought to have a greater propensity to be disgusted than liberals do. Many studies corroborate this idea (see here, here, and here).

Now it may be that I use the word “disgust” more figuratively than the scientists. Perhaps my sense of “morally offensive” isn’t what they call disgust.

The real surprise in the article is that liberals answer questions more conservatively when the smell of vomit is introduced into the room. :shock:

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BR v. BR

GerbilReportBirther Report (BR) has a new article up consisting of an email exchange involving Brian Reilly (BR). In an article titled “Cold Case Posse Initiator Reverses Course,” author George Miller exhibits an email exchange between Kevin “Pixel Patriot” Powell (is a pixel patriot like a keyboard warrior, only a lot smaller?) and Brian Reilly. I wanted to take a bit of what Powell wrote as an example of how confused birthers are about the facts and how they raise bogus objections.

The first item refers to the verification received by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett from the State of Hawaii, one reason Reilly considers the Obama identity issue closed. Here’s what Powell said:

Dr. Onaka’s verification letter on May 22nd, 2012 did undermine the investigation to some extent but if you look at the circumstances in their entirety, it did not and should not have shut down the investigation which proceeded on many fronts beyond what you are privy to.

The first issue is the implication that Brian Reilly was not privy to the entire scope of the Cold Case Posse investigation; however, since there were only two people (Reilly being one of them) working on the investigation, it hardly seems credible for someone who wasn’t part of any of it (Powell) to make a claim that there were material things Reilly was not privy to. How could Powell know such a thing? If he could not know it, he must have made that claim up. Powell continues:

In reality, the so-called verification letter is missing two fundamental elements such as the name of the parents and the date of birth.

Without these, everything is suspect…

The article, to its credit, links to that verification. Powell claims that the parent’s name and date of birth, items which Powell calls “fundamental” elements, are not part of the itemized list of data elements that Dr. Onaka verified. How are they “fundamental”? Parents are irrelevant to presidential eligibility (no one ever alleged Obama’s father was an ambassador), and no one has ever suggested that Barack Obama was not at least 35 years old when he became president. So Powell is attempting to spin the non-critical items into something important. It is true that the itemized list doesn’t contain the two elements, but the verification also says:

Additionally, I verify that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for Mr. Obama that you attached with your request matches the original record in our files.

Since the White House copy of the certificate includes the date of birth and parents’ names, the verification’s general matching statement verifies them too. For more on the verifications, see my 2012 article “Reverse engineering Dr. Onaka” and my 2013 article, “Onaka’s verification wording.” Further, the Bennett verification is not the only one.

Powell goes on to say:

…An honest evaluation undoubtedly demands full disclosure by the known liar waging war against the Constitution and the citizens of this Republic….

Given that Sheriff Arpaio has been sued by Obama’s Justice Department for abuses in his department, Arpaio is hardly the one to provide an unbiased evaluation, nor is Mike Zullo who has no specialization in law enforcement, beyond a short stint as a policeman in a small town 20 years ago, in any way qualified to lead, much less solely comprise the investigation.  Mike Zullo himself is a known liar, presenting a false race code table to the public and assuring his listeners that he had the original manual containing the codes. (He either lied about the content of the manual, or he lied about having it.) If an honest evaluation is to be done, Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse is one of the last places where it could be found.

Powell then states:

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie vowed to find Obama’s Birth Certificate but couldn’t produce it. Then, Gov. Abercrombie gave Dr. Onaka an award for modernizing the national vital statistics model law. Onaka also helped Hawaii implement EVVE as a Pilot state. The system can verify within 7 seconds whether a birth record is valid or fraudulent. Both AZ and Hawaii were early adopters of the EVVE System, yet Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett spent weeks exchanging emails with that same state registrar just so he could ask the question in the right way to get the “correct answer” while completely ignoring an official investigation by a sheriff that had declared it to be a forgery created by an act of fraud. The answer Sec. Bennett agreed to receive from Dr. Onaka did not include the date of birth, a critical component which was recommended to remain unchanged (p.59) in the national vital statistics model law because of the legal implications by the work group Dr. Onaka chaired for which he was given said award.

The claim that Abercrombie couldn’t find Obama’s birth certificate is bogus. Abercrombie was looking for some document he could release, and was told that by law he couldn’t release what they had.

Abercrombie giving Onaka an award is news to me. Did it happen? I couldn’t find such a thing. The Department of Health received an award from the Center for Digital Government (finalist in the Best of the Web contest), but that’s not from Abercrombie. The DoH received another award in 2007 (before Abercrombie became governor) from the same organization for its Electronic Death Registration System. Onaka received the Halbert L. Dunn award in 2008 from the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, and another NAPHSIS award in 2011 for his work as chair of the committee that produced recommendations for updates to the Model State Vital Statistics Act. None of these awards has anything whatever to do with Governor Abercrombie.

Powell alleges that Bennett could have simply used EVVE (Electronic Verification of Vital Events), an electronic system used by participating government agencies to check the validity of birth certificates under the Real ID Act. Powell correctly states that EVVE implementation was complete in Hawaii and Arizona (as of January of 2011). The technical specifications for EVVE are not public, and I didn’t take stuff home with me from my prior job in vital records. What I can say from the research that I have been able to do, is that it is within the realm of possibility that Ken Bennett might have been able to call some office in some Arizona state agency and after a long discussion of whether there was authority for what he was asking, been able to verify some limited set of information on Obama’s birth certificate electronically.

The problem with that approach, assuming it was permissible, is that the results are not certified by anybody. Can you imagine a Secretary of State certifying a candidate for president based on a screen print of some terminal at the DMV? :roll: EVVE verifications are nothing more than a computer-to-computer data match, not an official record. Further, it is highly unlikely that such data elements as the name of the hospital are included in the EVVE transaction. One paper on electronic birth registration systems in the EVVE context listed the following data items as “birth identification data”:

  • registrant’s name
  • date of birth
  • city, county, and State of the place of birth
  • gender
  • mother’s maiden name
  • father’s name
  • mother’s address
  • birth certificate number
  • mother’s Social Security number
  • father’s Social Security number
  • date filed

If that is the correct list, then EVVE could not have verified the following elements that Bennett asked of Onaka:

  • Time of birth
  • Name of Hospital
  • Age of Father
  • Birthplace of father
  • Age of mother
  • Birthplace of Mother
  • Date of Signature of Parent
  • Date of Signature of Attendant
  • Date Accepted by Local Registrar

That means that only 3 of the 12 items Bennett requested for verification might have been verifiable by EVVE. Powell’s entire complaint is bogus from start to finish.

Now, about the gerbils. Gerbil Report (as I now prefer to call Birther Report) trots out the gerbils, in this gratuitous image, courtesy of Barry Soetoro, Esq.:

Update:

In an email Brian Reilly responds:

Birther Report has published selected communications between myself and individuals who embrace the position that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.  My goal was to tell the numerous people who were open copied in Gary Wilmott’s recent email that former MCSO Chief Brian Sands’ new exposé entitled "Arpaio, DeFacto Lawman" is available from Amazon.com as an e-book for $4.99. I hit the Jackpot when Birther Report chose to advertise the book for all to see.  In the memorable words of President George Bush:  "Mission Accomplished!"

Regards,
Brian Reilly

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Judge sentences Fitzpatrick to 3 years

Calls him a “moral coward”

Judge John Blackwell had no sympathy for Walter Fitzpatrick’s claims of defending the constitution, as he sentenced the former Navy Lt. Commander to 3 years in jail with the possibility of parole after serving 30% of the sentence following a June conviction on felony charges of extortion and aggravated perjury.

The judge was quoted by defense attorney Van Irion as saying: “I’m sick and tired of all these people who want to talk about their Constitutional rights.” The context of that remark, if accurate, was not readily available.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, something over 25 people were in the court gallery to support Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was taken into custody following the sentencing. For a first-hand account of the hearing:

 

Check Out Politics Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with RCRadio on BlogTalkRadio

Read more:

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De Facto Arpaio

Former Deputy Chief Brian Sands of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has written a memoir titled “Arpaio De Facto Lawman” detailing his experiences with Sheriff Arpaio and the office. Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times has an article on it. Fine Stephen, but we already know that Sheriff Joe is a narcissist. Tell us about the birthers!

For that, you will have to buy the book, and you will not be disappointed. The birthers get their own short chapter (7) titled, duh, “Birthers.” It mentions “probable cause,” a concept Sheriff Arpaio was not too fluent in. Sands puts it this way in terms of the Obama birth certificate investigation:

Arpaio’s perspective is I want to be involved, so let’s figure out how to establish an excuse for the reasonable test.

One of the questions surrounding the Cold Case Posse investigation was: just who was the Cold Case Posse. Sands answers this by saying:

At first, Zullo had several other Posse people “working” on the case, two of whom were civil private practice attorneys. The attorneys, for whatever reasons, distanced themselves. Now it was primarily Zullo and the newly-recruited [Brian] Reilly.

Enter Jerome Corsi, who was given office space by Arpaio. The Hawaii trip is discussed. When Deputy Chief Sands questioned Zullo about what evidence he had that would lead to a probable indictment, Zullo said nothing.

Sands does not take a firm stand about where Obama was born, but he maintains skepticism about Arpaio and the CCP investigation and makes this reasonable statement:

When the State of Hawaii came out and officially said that Obama was born in the State and denied Arpaio’s claims of not maintaining secure records[, y]ou would think nothing more could be investigated.

Of additional interest, Sands confirms Brian Reilly’s story on some detail points, some up until now, unpublished.

Update: A comment from Brian Reilly

Having just completed reading chapter 7, entitled "Birthers," I have a few comments to make about former Chief Deputy Sand’s new Kindle book on Amazon.

Sands wrote that Arpaio asked us as Tea Party members to do a petition requesting the birth certificate investigation, and we were to bring the petition back to Arpaio. This was not an accurate statement. When we first met with Arpaio on August 18, 2011, we presented him with a petition with 242 signatures that we gathered the previous night on August 17, 2011. The petition idea was mine and mine alone. Arpaio knew nothing about the petition idea until it was presented to him at the August 18 meeting. At the August 18, meeting, Arpaio asked us to write a formal letter requesting an investigation of the Obama birth certificate and he said "put me in a box" and told me to come back to give all of our evidence and the petition and the letter to him on August 22, 2011, which I did alone.

Additionally, Chief Deputy Sands confirmed that I was unhappy with the conduct of the Zullo birth certificate investigation. (I was not impressed at the time with the biased way in which the investigation was being conducted along with other issues related to liability and I resigned from the Cold Case Posse. )

Chief Deputy Sands also confirmed that no taxpayer dollars were to be used in the investigation, and in fact tax dollars were used.

Sands also confirmed that Zullo had a few years of law enforcement, not the "decades" of law enforcement experience that Carl Gallups has advertised on his Freedom Friday radio show.

Of special note was what Sands related about Zullo’s lack of evidence regarding the birth certificate investigation. Very telling indeed.

I was very impressed with Chief Deputy Sands when I met him on August 18, 2011 when I was a Tea Party member and also when I was a Cold Case Posse member. Chief Sands was the only one to question whether the Jerry Corsi provided "witnesses" were actually considered "experts" and whether they had ever testified in court as experts. As a Cold Case Posse member, I can honestly say, I respected Chief Sands and his "by the book" approach to police work.

And one final note, Sands confirmed that Zullo and I were the only Cold Case Posse members who were actively involved in the investigation.

Other critical books about Joe Arpaio:

51

What, a new eligibility lawsuit appeal?

Claiming a specific injury because of an ineligible president, Christopher John Rudy is suing the government for $90, a fee he had to pay as the result of a law signed by Barack Obama, whom Rudy alleges is not really the president. Of course, this case was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

The original case (1:2013cv00278) was filed in the Virginia Eastern District Court in March of 2013. The order dismissing the case agreed with the Patent Office’s contention that the courts lacked jurisdiction to decide presidential eligibility because it was a political question. A political question is defined by guidelines set down by the Supreme Court in Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 217 (1962), existing when any of the following holds:

  1. textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department;
  2. a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving the issue;
  3. the impossibility of resolving the issue without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion;
  4. the impossibility of a court’s undertaking independent resolution of the issue without expressing a lack of respect due to the coordinate branches of government;
  5. an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made; or
  6. the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question.

Defendants cited to three of the criteria (1, 5 and 6) and said: “numerous articles and amendments of the U. S. Constitution, when viewed together, make clear that the issue of the President’s qualifications and his removal from office are textually committed to the legislative branch and not the judicial branch.”

The decision was appealed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (case number 14-1056), and the lower court ruling was affirmed without comment on April 11, 2014.

What makes this latter-day case a little more interesting is the submission of an amicus brief by the United States Justice Foundation (Gary Kreep’s old outfit). This time the USJF attorney is William J. Olson. The USJF is a non-profit, right-wing nut job public interest organization. The USJF brief claims that up until now, “no one has questioned the validity of a law signed by the president.” That is, of course, is factually wrong. Orly Taitz did that in Taitz v. Sebelius.  Very sloppy work, Mr. Olson. Our old buddy Herb Titus makes an appearance on the docket also, I presume with the amicus brief.

The Supreme Court appeal was docketed July 10, and assigned case number 14-36. Here is the USJF brief, and it is quoted from in the WorldNetDaily article referenced below.

Read more:

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