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Historical inquiry: the mail-in form

Birthers sometimes suggest that Grandmother Dunham filed a report by mail with the Hawaii Department of Health to register the birth of President Obama. The statute in force at the time stated that in the case of an attended birth, for which the parents were unable to file a birth certificate, it was the responsibility of the local registrar to obtain the necessary information, and fill out the form. So no grandmother mail-in.

That still leaves the theoretical possibility that one of President Obama’s parents filled out a form and mailed it in. Since filing a birth certificate falsely is a crime according to the statute, I think it reasonable to assume that anyone filing a certificate would either have to have it notarized if mailed in, or witnessed by the local registrar if filed in person. So what about that “mail in form,” is it possible?

I thought I would nail down this sucker once and for all by asking the Hawaii Department of Health whether they had “mail-in forms” in 1961. The answer was that there is no one still working there who was around in 1961. They cannot confirm an answer. The 1949 provision on the “forms of certificates” doesn’t tell us anything. I think this is the end of the trail on the mail-in form.

I for one, think that there was only one form in 1961, a form we’ve seen for the Nordyke twins. I believe that if Obama was registered, it was using this form. Occam’s razor asks us why we would want to imagine 2 forms, but can I prove that there weren’t two forms? Can I prove there weren’t two hundred? Can I prove that there wasn’t a different form just for births on August 4, 1961 to someone whose father was “African” that said in small print “Happy Birthday to our future president”? No, I can’t, nor do I think I likely that I ever will. I’m not losing sleep over it.

There are just some things we don’t know and probably won’t find out.

11 Responses to Historical inquiry: the mail-in form

  1. avatar
    Reality Check June 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    We damn, that cinches it. Obama was born in Kenya and will resign tomorrow. I hope he waits until after the World Cup game just in case they would interrupt the game for the big news.

  2. avatar
    James June 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    There are alot of questions we just can’t answer because Obama and Hawaii DOH won’t release and say anything. Nevertheless, I think there is still a very good chance that Obama was NOT born in Hawaii and that some type fraud or manufacturing was done to make it appear Obama was born in Hawaii. If Obama was really born in hospital like he has said, we who have been provided with 100% proof of it long long ago. If Obama really has long-form BC, WE WOULD HAVE SEEN IT BY NOW.

  3. avatar
    BatGuano June 25, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    James: There are alot of questions we just can’t answer because Obama and Hawaii DOH won’t release and say anything.

    except for obama releasing his COLB and the hawaii DOH saying he was born in hawaii.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    James: Nevertheless, I think there is still a very good chance that Obama was NOT born in Hawaii and that some type fraud or manufacturing was done to make it appear Obama was born in Hawaii.

    Why don’t you come up with a detailed scenario of how the Kenyan birth and subsequent fraud could have happened, and we’ll see if matches the evidence.

  5. avatar
    richCares June 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    Birthers need to believe Obama was not born in Hawaii, that is their only way of getting him out of office. But so far that hasn’t worked, Obama is still president, his portrait is in all Gov offices labeled “president”. Birthers have failed, but they enjoy failing so much they keep it up long after it don’t mean anything. (James for example). Tying up their lives with meaningless birther stuff is a waste of time. I guess it is exciting to them, look how James jumped on the phony Tim Adams story. They were good for laughs, but now, after Obama is fast approaching 2 yrs in office, they are pathetic. However there is a good chance that they may succeed in 2016.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) June 25, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    James: There are alot of questions we just can’t answer because Obama and Hawaii DOH won’t release and say anything.Nevertheless, I think there is still a very good chance that Obama was NOT born in Hawaii and that some type fraud or manufacturing was done to make it appear Obama was born in Hawaii.If Obama was really born in hospital like he has said, we who have been provided with 100% proof of it long long ago.If Obama really has long-form BC, WE WOULD HAVE SEEN IT BY NOW.

    There are no questions that are unanswered. If you had any sanity WE WOULD HAVE SEEN IT BY NOW. The COLB has been verified by the State of Hawaii. There is no chance he wasn’t born in hawaii its just mere desperation on your part james

  7. avatar
    AnotherBird June 25, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    James: There are alot of questions we just can’t answer because Obama and Hawaii DOH won’t release and say anything.

    That is the point all birther argument should stop. First solution is to start listening and stop pretending that you don’t know the answers. The second is just accept Hawaii Department of Health and other Hawaii officials statements that Obama is a natural born citizen.

  8. avatar
    sarina June 25, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    James: There are alot of questions we just can’t answer because Obama and Hawaii DOH won’t release and say anything.

    But he posted his COLB in 2008!! Even the Republicans said this is crazy! So James
    you too believe that governor Lingle (R) is covering for Obama?

    Listen to this video: What McCain said to a woman when she said she didn’t trust Obama because he was “an Arab”. Listen to McCain’s answer to that not so “very smart question”

    He said: ” He is a decent family man, “citizen”…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8XmerZEyHE

    So James, do you think that McCain is covering for him too?

  9. avatar
    Expelliarmus June 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    I thought I would nail down this sucker once and for all by asking the Hawaii Department of Health whether they had “mail-in forms” in 1961. The answer was that there is no one still working there who was around in 1961. They cannot confirm an answer. The 1949 provision on the “forms of certificates” doesn’t tell us anything. I think this is the end of the trail on the mail-in form.

    The next place to go is to dig up the administrative regulations in place in 1961. I don’t know whether that could be done with online resources — if so, you’d probably have to do it via a Lexis/Nexus subscription. It may be that you would need to be digging around in archives in the Hawaii State Law Library — perhaps someone could hire an enterprising Univ. of Hawaii law student for that task.

    I doubt that you would find any reference to “mail in” forms — the birth registration procedures all contemplate the existence of a local, living newborn baby — and where there’s a baby, there are probably adults nearby who can be interviewed and corralled for the purpose of filling out forms in person. What you might find would be the procedures that need to be followed by the registrar to verify facts reported related to births outside of a medical facility … which in turn would put the final nail in the coffin of the “mailed in report from grandma Dunham” theory.

    But then, of course, the birthers would simply point out that someone could have broken the rules as then written. They have a proven track record if inability to distinguish fact from fantasy.

  10. avatar
    E GLenn Harcsar June 25, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Bless you Dr C.,

    In heaven, 40 years from now, after, I hope, your very happy 60th of this past week , I will welcome you– for I’ll have surely beaten you there. What with this methane plume and all….

  11. avatar
    misha June 25, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    To James, Spike and other Denialists:

    The born in Kenya scenario is physically impossible, not only that it is about 11K miles away: http://newyorkleftist.blogspot.com/2010/03/obama-born-in-kenya-no.html

    Also, as I have pointed out before, Linda Lingle is Jewish. She was an ardent McCain supporter, and if she found any dirt on Obama, the GOP would have used it with glee. Especially, since she believed McCain was better for Israel.