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Arpaio had no evidence, former Deputy Chief says

In an interview, former Deputy Chief of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Brian Sands, told CBS 5 in Phoenix:

… the investigation never uncovered any evidence that the president’s birth certificate was a fake, despite what the sheriff said in front of the cameras.

Oh, the birthers! Oh, the weeping and gnashing of teeth!

Sands also said that Arpaio felt the investigation was “politically powerful for him,” in line with Arpaio’s remarks caught on camera and appearing in the new documentary, The Joe Show, that the birther investigation would bring in large campaign contributions.

Former Deputy Chief Sands also has an eBook about his experiences with Joe Arpaio and the MCSO. Lisa Allen, the director of media relations for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, criticized Sands’ book for its numerous spelling errors.

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Getting shed of Orly Taitz

As much as I dislike Orly Taitz, she is a citizen of the United States and unless she by her own actions renounces that citizenship, she has the right to live here, just as much as all the other people I don’t like.

Now, Orly Taitz offers us a solution, remove the entire state of California from the Union. Taitz says, citing historian (according to Taitz) Thomas DiLorenzo, that every state has the right of secession. She writes:

Today we are seeing an unprecedented tyranny of the federal government and it might take a secession by one or several states to wake up and shake up the federal government into ending the abuses.

The crank is strong in that one (more nonsense in the article).

I personally would be sad to see California go, especially Berkeley. Perhaps Orly can declare her own state within California, and then it could secede.

They’d none of them be missed; they’d none of them be missed.

Throwing Lincoln under the bus

There is one curious item in the article, attributed to DiLorenzo: “a warrant issued by Lincoln to arrest the chief judge of the Supreme court for disagreeing with Lincoln.” All major Lincoln biographers have concluded that this alleged secret warrant never existed although that possibility might have been discussed within the Lincoln administration. (See Wikipedia: Taney Arrest Warrant.)

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Preserve, protect and defend

Today I completed my training to be certified as a poll manager for Spartanburg County in South Carolina. I should get a letter in the next couple of weeks telling me where I will be working. One of the next steps in the process is to swear an oath (South Carolina Constitution Section Article III Section 26) before the Clerk of Court:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the duties of the office to which I have been appointed, and that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of this state and of the United States. So help me God.

I’ve never had occasion to swear an oath before to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and I look forward to doing so, considering it a serious and solemn privilege to serve my state and my country. On the other hand, I feel I have always tried to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, oath or no. As I contemplate taking this oath, my thoughts move towards the significance of taking the oath and what it means.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e6/Washington%27s_Inauguration.jpg

George Washington taking the Oath of Office

I haven’t thought much about this blog as “defending the Constitution,” but in a way it does. The framers of our republic clearly intended the country to be guided by enlightened reason and the rule of law. That’s what this blog seeks to do–encourage enlightened reason and respect for law. A considerable portion of this blog deals with certain birther attempts to misrepresent the Constitution regarding who is eligible to assume the office of President of the United States. It also, in some small measure and in certain narrow areas, seeks to explain how the law and the courts work.

I have long felt a certain similarity between the legal doctrine of standing and the Mormons’ doctrine of revelation. Mormons believe that any member of the Church can receive a revelation from God; however, they further believe that true revelation comes in the context of an individual’s responsibility from which it follows that only the head of the Church would receive a revelation applicable to the whole church. (So when Cody Judy claimed that he had a revelation that he should be the head of the Church, that wouldn’t be seen as valid.)

These concepts of revelation and standing seem to apply also to defending the Constitution, and this is where some of those on the right wing misapply their oaths. I do not criticize birthers for bringing their grievances before the courts, although I criticize them for doing it over and over. The access to the courts is their privilege under the law. Terry Lakin swore an oath to defend the Constitution, but it was not his responsibility to have the President vetted, and I criticize Lakin for breaking the law in his attempt. Defending the Constitution is done within the context of respect for the laws made under the Constitution.


Note: Eligibility to be a poll manager in South Carolina requires one to be a registered voter and to live in the county (or a county adjacent to) where one serves.

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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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