Main Menu

Doctors and Obots and Birthers, oh my!

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

I don’t buy that, but I did hit it off well today with Dean Haskins, director of The Birther Summit. Dean had a denim shirt embroidered with the Birther Summit logo and I recognized him from photos. I went over and introduced myself before the hearing. We talked about a few things before and after concerning, the ability of the video feed to handle large traffic, the heat he’s been taking for recent criticism about the competence of Orly Taitz, and about civility in our dispute. We both agree that Orly Taitz is a negative for the birthers and we both agree in airing our differences civilly.

Shadow forces

The one person I really wanted to talk was Christopher Strunk. He filed an FOIA very similar to mine and he filed a federal lawsuit over it. When I introduced myself with my real name and “Dr. Conspiracy” he said, “I know you. I know YOU!” (I was secretly glad a security guard was standing next to us, although my anxiety proved unfounded.) He testified about his FOIA and ended by saying both in testimony and to me, about the destroyed passport applications, something to the effect that “the dog ate the record” is not an acceptable response. What I wanted to ask him was whether he had gotten anything else new. He said no, but he really wasn’t interested in talking FOIA except to assert that the Department of State was lying about having destroyed records he sought. He was fed up with the whole FOIA process and that said that the people working in the shadows behind Obama were controlling everything. His new focus had something to do with the Federal Reserve and a trillion dollars. The room was noisy and I didn’t catch the details. My impression of Strunk was that he was would up pretty tight.

The Fed

I hadn’t heard of John Sampson before Orly called him as a witness. He’s a former INS agent with what sounded like an impressive resume. He’s retired from federal service and is now a private investigator. He testified that Obama’s Connecticut social-security number (SSN)Β  is suspicious and that further investigation was necessary.

I went up to Mr. Sampson and engaged him about his testimony. We agreed that social-security numbers in 1977 were issued centrally, not by state offices. I brought up the Honolulu/Hartford typo. He said that switching the 0 and 9 on Obama’s zip code would not yield a valid Honolulu zip code. I said that the zip code was valid in 1977. (This will be addressed in a later article after research.) We agreed to disagree. I asked him if believe that Obama’s social-security number belonged to someone born in 1890 and he almost spat out his reply, “nah.” He volunteered that the Jean Paul Ludwig thing was wrong. Mr. Sampson made it clear that a Connecticut SSN was not proof of fraud, but something that should be investigated. I asked him why, if he was convinced that an investigation was warranted, that those still working at the INS weren’t investigating. He explained that a supervisor would need “some balls” to authorize such an investigation of an important person. I can’t disagree with that.

Foggy

I was glad that I finally got to meet Foggy for the first time. Poor guy arrived at the hearing a little late and had to sit with the overflow crowd. There were no great revelations. He sounds just like he does on radio interviews. We talked mostly about personal stuff which is not relevant to this blog. I can sense in him a passion for his forum, The Fogbow, just as I have for my blog. The question came up, “why do we do this?” I said it was a hobby and he agreed, “an eccentric hobby.”

I got to meet a total of 6 anti-birthers who made it to the hearing. That was nice, but I’ll respect their privacy and not say more.

Orly

Her, I didn’t talk to. First, I really had nothing to say to her. Second, she spent all her time with the news media. She’s taller in person than I had thought.

, , ,

29 Responses to Doctors and Obots and Birthers, oh my!

  1. avatar
    gorefan January 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    “He said that switching the 0 and 9 on Obama’s zip code would not yield a valid Honolulu zip code. ”

    Ann Dunham’s passport records show that the grandparent’s house had the zip code of 96814 in 1976 and President Obama’s Selective Service registration had 96826 for the same address in 1980. So it clear changed during those years.

    But it may not be even necessary to know what the last two digits of the zip code were. The first three digits indicate the state. So 968nn is Hawaii and 068nn Connecticut.

    Here is an IRS form that illustrates the type of document that may have been sitting on the SSA clerk’s desk and which was used to assign a geographic location.

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/zip_code_and_state_abbreviations.pdf

  2. avatar
    y_p_w January 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Have you ever been standing next to someone who you’ve mentioned less than kind things about with an online personna? I’ve been there. Sort of feels different in person, although I probably wouldn’t have necessarily taken anything back.

  3. avatar
    Scientist January 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Doc: I’m confused by the point regarding valid zip codes. Someone in Hawaii applies for an SSN the person who enters the zip code enters a “0” for the first digit instead of “9” resulting in a “Connecticut” SSN. Then the card is mailed out-I could see 2 possible scenarios: 1. the envelope is addressed with the correct Hawaiian zip code and is delivered no problem; 2 the envelope is addressed with the incorrect Connecticut zip code, but the post office uses the Honolulu address to deliver it anyway (I have gotten letters with the correct address and incorrect zip).

    Also, why wouldn’t someone in Hawaii if they were making up a fake SSN make up one with a Hawaiian prefix, which would presumably look more real?

  4. avatar
    y_p_w January 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Scientist: Doc: I’m confused by the point regarding valid zip codes. Someone in Hawaii applies for an SSN the person who enters the zip code enters a “0‘ for the first digit instead of “9‘ resulting in a “Connecticut” SSN. Then the card is mailed out-I could see 2 possible scenarios: 1. the envelope is addressed with the correct Hawaiian zip code and is delivered no problem; 2 the envelope is addressed with the incorrect Connecticut zip code, but the post office uses the Honolulu address to deliver it anyway (I have gotten letters with the correct address and incorrect zip).Also, why wouldn’t someone in Hawaii if they were making up a fake SSN make up one with a Hawaiian prefix, which would presumably look more real?

    I guess they’re claiming that they had to find someone’s SSN that was suitable to steal, and that was in CT. Beats me why anyone would ever do that, but that’s birther logic for ya.

  5. avatar
    Expelliarmus January 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Why is everyone so damn sure that Obama never spent time in Connecticut? When I was growing up, I spent extended time every summer in a different state than where my parents’ lived. My kids spent extended time in the summers visiting various places quite far away from where I lived. Is it all that implausible that one summer Obama went off to visit an east coast friend and happened to apply for his social security card using his temporary summer address?

    I mean.. I think the switched zip code theory is plausible too, I just don’t know what law was on the books back then that would have prevented a teenage Obama from crossing state lines.

  6. avatar
    y_p_w January 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Expelliarmus: Why is everyone so damn sure that Obama never spent time in Connecticut? When I was growing up, I spent extended time every summer in a different state than where my parents’ lived. My kids spent extended time in the summers visiting various places quite far away from where I lived. Is it all that implausible that one summer Obama went off to visit an east coast friend and happened to apply for his social security card using his temporary summer address?I mean.. I think the switched zip code theory is plausible too, I just don’t know what law was on the books back then that would have prevented a teenage Obama from crossing state lines.

    There probably wasn’t anything preventing him from doing so, but nobody has ever heard of him being in CT at a young age. I mean – he’d been to Indonesia, Washington, and Hawaii by the time he got his SSN card.

    Not really arguing with you, but I know the birthers make a claim that a SSN card can only be mailed to one’s residence, but I know of no such requirement. All the SSA really wants is a mailing address. I fairly recently had to make a correction in my Social Security file, and had to fill out the standard SS-5 with the corrections. I had had to tell them in person that I wasn’t looking for a replacement card. There’s nothing I could check on the form that allowed me to state it was new card application, a replacement card application, or a correction to the database. The SSA says that the form is used for all three. These can only be filed in person and the applicant tells the SSA employee what the purpose is and notes are taken in the “official use” box.

    Here’s the application with instructions:

    http://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf

    This is what it has to say about address (and the application only has room for one “mailing address”):

    16. Show an address where you can receive your card 7 to 14 days from now.

  7. avatar
    Joe knows January 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Dr. Jerkoff,
    You’re surprised that Orly is tall? After seeing you, a dwarft seems to be your size. Why is it you resemble a billy goat? This most likely won’t be posted but i’m certain you’ll read it. You should use the name of Dr. Communist. That’s more your style.
    Can you post your location? We really should chat!!

  8. avatar
    Majority Will January 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Joe knows:
    Dr. Jerkoff,
    You’re surprised that Orly is tall? After seeing you, a dwarft seems to be your size. Why is it you resemble a billy goat?This most likely won’t be posted but i’m certain you’ll read it. You should use the name of Dr. Communist. That’s more your style.
    Can you post your location? We really should chat!!

    Isn’t it a bit strange for you to be flirting with a married man?

  9. avatar
    Arthur January 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Really Joe! I agree with Will; you’re coming on too strong–your slip is showing. Dr. C. doesn’t swing that way. But there’s a certain Darren Huff who I’m sure you’d get along with famously. From the brio of your post, it’s clear the two of you share a taste in cinema. You do love pink, right?

    Joe knows: Can you post your location? We really should chat!!

  10. avatar
    SluggoJD January 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    Hey Dr. C, since “Joe” wants to know your location (I guess he couldn’t figure out where the hearing was today), can we have his IP info so we might know his location as well??

  11. avatar
    Northland10 January 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Joe Don’t know______: stuff that need not be repeated.

    What a well researched and well reasoned argument. Is there a class I can take so I can be as articulate as you?

  12. avatar
    US Citizen January 27, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    Northland10: What a well researched and well reasoned argument.Is there a class I can take so I can be as articulate as you?

    Nope. There is no class. No class at all.
    But give Joe a break.
    He appears to be an expert at blogging while drunk.

  13. avatar
    foggy January 27, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    Thank you for those kind words, Dr. Conspiracy. I was thrilled to meet you, too, and it was great to meet your beautiful and fascinating wife. I hope she had as much fun as she looked like she was having, surrounded by us eccentric hobbyists.

    Not so bad being in the overflow room. I got to text to my forum throughout the proceedings, and I was able to listen in on some birther conversations from the group that were amazing. If the U.S. Supreme Court, later on down the line, rules that President Obama.is a natural born citizen, it would be the most widely read Supreme Court decision in history. But the birthers would simply believe that the justices had been threatened or paid off. They never, ever, ever consider whether they might be wrong in their beliefs.

    Heading home this morning, after a wonderful, wonderful trip. After suffering from GBS all these months and being basically housebound, it was a joy to meet all the intelligent, witty and yes, passionate anti-birthers.

  14. avatar
    The Magic M January 27, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    foggy: But the birthers would simply believe that the justices had been threatened or paid off.

    I suppose they’d spend the rest of their days parsing the ruling for hidden messages that translate to “help, Obama is sitting next to me pointing a gun at my head”. Or they’ll find a sentence where the first letters in each word spell I-N-E-L-I-G-I-B-L-E. “OMG look at that!” πŸ˜‰

  15. avatar
    J. Potter January 27, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    The Magic M: they’d spend the rest of their days parsing the ruling for hidden messages

    The Birfer Code! πŸ˜€

    So, after the birther thought leaders finally finish bumping each other off, and they finally get their cult on*, where will their first temple(s) be? Usually, new cults migrate to a frontier area. Hard to find these days. Western KS, NE? Alaskan interior?

    * Barring violence, my money is on the Cult of Orly winning out. None of the others have the necessary …. uh … magnetism.

  16. avatar
    Majority Will January 27, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    The Magic M: I suppose they’d spend the rest of their days parsing the ruling for hidden messages that translate to “help, Obama is sitting next to me pointing a gun at my head”. Or they’ll find a sentence where the first letters in each word spell I-N-E-L-I-G-I-B-L-E. “OMG look at that!”

    The A in Alito’s signature will have a frowning face.

  17. avatar
    Majority Will January 27, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    J. Potter: The Birfer Code!

    So, after the birther thought leaders finally finish bumping each other off, and they finally get their cult on*, where will their first temple(s) be? Usually, new cults migrate to a frontier area. Hard to find these days. Western KS, NE? Alaskan interior?

    *Barring violence, my money is on the Cult of Orly winning out. None of the others have the necessary …. uh … magnetism.

    The Orange County Temple of Doom

  18. avatar
    PaulG January 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    gorefan:
    “He said that switching the 0 and 9 on Obama’s zip code would not yield a valid Honolulu zip code. ”

    Ann Dunham’s passport records show that the grandparent’s house had the zip code of 96814 in 1976 and President Obama’s Selective Service registration had 96826 for the same address in 1980.So it clear changed during those years.

    But it may not be even necessary to know what the last two digits of the zip code were.The first three digits indicate the state.So 968nn is Hawaii and 068nn Connecticut.

    Here is an IRS form that illustrates the type of document that may have been sitting on the SSA clerk’s desk and which was used to assign a geographic location.

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/zip_code_and_state_abbreviations.pdf

    Thanks for pointing that out. Even if it was computerized, a 70’s era computer doing a look up would be more likely to do it from a table of 1000 numbers than 100000.

  19. avatar
    Chris Strunk January 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    You are in person as you are in electronic media – acting the role! Dr. Snipe Hunt!

    Until the BUSH 1,2,3,4 and maybe Bush 5th (JEB) dynasty the FOIA process remained the only check against government activities conducted in the shadows.

    With the Usurper in Chief and his grave robber Eric Holder, the check on shadow government no longer is available; and according to the Sun TImes at http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/8543536-452/open-government-law-twisted-to-permit-lies.html

    That according to U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney who rebuked the government for falsely denying the existence of records sought under FOIA, not only to the requesters but to him.

    Carney noted that “it is impossible for the court to determine compliance with the law and to protect the public from government misconduct if the government misleads the court.”

    The Justice Department says its new rule merely codifies a practice dating to the Reagan administration, which means they’ve been lying to us all along.

  20. avatar
    J. Potter January 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    I would humbly note that was from the “Other Views” (read: “Outside Editorial”) section of the Sun Times. Sullum is an editor with Reason magazine.

    Chris Strunk: according to the Sun TImes at

    Further, here is Obama’s orginal 3/2009 memo re FOIA:
    http://www.justice.gov/ag/foia-memo-march2009.pdf

    Sen. Grassley sent a letter to the DoJ outlining concerns regarding some pending regulations which Sullum was commenting on. Grassley’s 10/28/11 letter:
    http://www.grassley.senate.gov/judiciary/upload/FOIA-10-28-11-letter-to-Holder-proposed-DOJ-regs.pdf

    The DoJ responded to Grassley in early November, no mention of which is made by Sullum, who was writing in early December. Hmmm.
    https://motherjones.com/files/71472117-doj-response-to-grassley-letter.pdf
    Clearly states the proposal which caused alarm, 16.6(f)2, did not pass review and will not be implemented.

    It’s important that the public be able to weigh in during these review periods, and equally important that comments, filings, proposals, etc., be kept in perspective.

    Y’all got some catching up to do.

  21. avatar
    Chris Strunk January 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    J. Potter:
    I would humbly note that was from the “Other Views” (read: “Outside Editorial”) section of the Sun Times. Sullum is an editor with Reason magazine.

    Further, here is Obama’s orginal 3/2009 memo re FOIA:
    http://www.justice.gov/ag/foia-memo-march2009.pdf

    Sen. Grassley sent a letter to the DoJ outlining concerns regarding some pending regulations which Sullum was commenting on. Grassley’s 10/28/11 letter:
    http://www.grassley.senate.gov/judiciary/upload/FOIA-10-28-11-letter-to-Holder-proposed-DOJ-regs.pdf

    The DoJ responded to Grassley in early November, no mention of which is made by Sullum, who was writing in early December. Hmmm.
    https://motherjones.com/files/71472117-doj-response-to-grassley-letter.pdf
    Clearly states the proposal which caused alarm, 16.6(f)2, did not pass review and will not be implemented.

    It’s important that the public be able to weigh in during these review periods, and equally important that comments, filings, proposals, etc., be kept in perspective.

    Y’all got some catching up to do.

    DEAR J. Potter or whatever, are you saying the US District Judge lied or had some catching up to do or the “destruction of Documents” denied done by the GSA and or National Archives is the government not having implemented the policy anyway?

    That according to U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney who rebuked the government for falsely denying the existence of records sought under FOIA, not only to the requesters but to him.

    Carney noted that “it is impossible for the court to determine compliance with the law and to protect the public from government misconduct if the government misleads the court.”

  22. avatar
    bovril January 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    In Georgia, a sense of just how self absorbed and detached from reality our Mr Strunk is.

    Taitz : Mr Strunk, do you recognize this document ?

    Strunk : My name is Christoper Earl Strunk and I’m from New York. I’d like to vote in Georgia, but it’s not possible this year

    Taitz : I’m just asking if you recognize this document

  23. avatar
    J. Potter January 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Chris Strunk: DEAR J. Potter or whatever, are you saying the US District Judge lied or had some catching up to do

    No, I am saying, as I said before, that “Y’all got some catching up to do.” Carney was condemning the activities of the FBI under Bush, not Obama … let me help you catch up.

    The ruling you are referring to from Carney was in the case of Islamic Shura Council v. FBI, issued 4/27/11, can be found in full at:
    http://www.mainjustice.com/files/2011/04/Cormac-Carney-Order.pdf
    http://sbmblog.typepad.com/files/cormac-carney-order.pdf

    From the writeup of the case as filed in Nov 2010, which can be found here:
    http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2011/03/30/09-56035.pdf

    “On May 15, 2006, five citizens and six organizations in Southern California, submitted a joint request to the FBI under the FOIA, 5 USC § 552, seeking any information reflecting any investigation or surveillance of them by the government …

    “On April 27, 2007, the FBI notified nine of the eleven plaintiffs that its search of its Central Records System did not locate documents responsive to their requests. On June 13, 2007, the FBI released three pages of documents to Mr.Ayloush, in response to his request. On June 14, 2007, the FBI released a one-page document to CAIR. The FBI redacted large portions of those four pages pursuant to FOIA exemptions …”

    “On September 18, 2007, plaintiffs filed their Complaint in the district court, challenging the adequacy of the FBI’s search. After the lawsuit was filed, the FBI conducted additional
    searches for nine of the eleven plaintiffs and produced over one hundred pages of documents. The government redacted some of the information in these documents pursuant to specific exemptions under 5 U.S.C. § 552(b). The government also heavily redacted many documents as “outside the scope” of plaintiffs’ FOIA request.”

    “On March 21, 2008, the government filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that its invocation of the FOIA exemptions was necessary and proper. On November 26,
    2008, plaintiffs filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, requesting the district court to order the government to disclose the documents redacted as “outside the scope,” or, in the alternative, requesting the district court to review those documents in camera to determine if the documents were properly characterized as “outside the scope” of the FOIA request.”

    Ohmigoodness! You can keep reading if you like, to hear about how the rest of this Bush era mess played out, but clearly the game of “Hide the Documents” played out during Mr. Bush’s 2nd term. Weren’t you just saying that FOIA was our only check on shadowy activities under Bush?

    I’m just trying to follow your preferred chain of cause and effect, but every time I look into what you’re bringing up, I find reality to be in perpendicular opposition to your assertions. Perhaps you should check these claims out for yourself before you proceed to regurgitate them all over the web and embarrass yourself?

    BTW, it’s just JPotter. πŸ˜‰

  24. avatar
    Majority WIll January 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    bovril:
    In Georgia, a sense of just how self absorbed and detached from reality our Mr Strunk is.

    Taitz : Mr Strunk, do you recognize this document ?


    Strunk : My name is Christoper Earl Strunk and I’m from New York. I’d like to vote in Georgia, but it’s not possible this year

    Taitz : I’m just asking if you recognize this document

    Potato dog bag lightning on the soup cans beg for leptons over dirty pancake steam awesome.

    He’ll know what it means.

  25. avatar
    J. Potter January 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Strunk:

    Not that I would ever stoop to turning the screw, but can you please reconcile the beginning and end of your post above:

    “Until the BUSH 1,2,3,4 and maybe Bush 5th (JEB) dynasty the FOIA process remained the only check against government activities conducted in the shadows….

    ‘The Justice Department says its new rule merely codifies a practice dating to the Reagan administration, which means they’ve been lying to us all along.’ ”

    I’ve already demonstrated your (and Sullum’s) use of Carney’s ruling to criticize the DoJ’s recent FOIA regulations work is crap, as the actions in the case preceeded the regulations by years. The case itself pops your first statement like a flimsy bubble. The second statement was a quote from Sullum, which also contradicts your own first statement.

    So. Mr. Strunk, do you still contend the Bush era-DoJ was more transparent than the Obama era DoJ? Or, as Sullum said, were they lying to us all along, right through Bush?

    Let me guess, they were lying to us all along, now they’re just lying to us harder, right? Right??? πŸ˜‰

  26. avatar
    Chris Strunk January 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    As for Reagan remember HW was working feverishly in the basement of the White or have you forgotten that?

  27. avatar
    Whatever4 January 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    bovril:
    In Georgia, a sense of just how self absorbed and detached from reality our Mr Strunk is.

    Taitz : Mr Strunk, do you recognize this document ?


    Strunk : My name is Christoper Earl Strunk and I’m from New York. I’d like to vote in Georgia, but it’s not possible this year

    Taitz : I’m just asking if you recognize this document

    Akshually… Taitz never had her witnesses introduce themselves for the record. The other attorneys did. They were also asked it they could vote in GA (as that was important to their cases). Taitz called Strunk and started off by asking a question. Strunk correctly introduced himself before answering. Rather than Strunk being full of himself, this was an example of Taitz being the Worst Lawyer In The World.

  28. avatar
    Majority WIll January 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Whatever4: Akshually… Taitz never had her witnesses introduce themselves for the record. The other attorneys did. They were also asked it they could vote in GA (as that was important to their cases). Taitz called Strunk and started off by asking a question. Strunk correctly introduced himself before answering. Rather than Strunk being full of himself, this was an example of Taitz being the Worst Lawyer In The World.

    Fair enough. But the non-sequitur was funnier.

    How old are you now? BIG BLUE PANTS.

  29. avatar
    J. Potter January 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    Chris Strunk: As for Reagan remember HW was working feverishly in the basement of the White or have you forgotten that?

    Oh, no! The classic winger white flag of the sudden non-sequiter!

    No need to grovel, Strunk. A simple “I’m busted” will do.

    For those keeping score at home, that’s 1 Strunk for JPotter.