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2 + 2 = silly

I wrote earlier about Mark Kessler, and included a quote from him given right after hearing Mike Zullo’s closed-door presentation at the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association meeting, that I’ll repeat here:

Ths Barry…he’s not an American, I can tell you that right now. The information that I was given, he’s not an American. He’s not even Kenyan and I’m tellin’ you that when you find out what he is, your blood is gonna boil. The American people are gonna go absolutely crazy if Congress doesn’t do something about this cause he’s not Kenyan and he’s not American. …There’s no record of him prior to the age of five anywhere in this country. Nowhere. The people that…that they say are his parents, guess what? They’re not his real parents. They’re not. I’ve seen the evidence. I’ve seen the evidence and I give kudos to Mike Zullo and Joe Arpaio because Joe took this bull by the horns and ran with it.

So what the heck is that all about? Well, look at this bit from Martha Trowbridge today at Birther Report:

Martha Trowbridge 78p · 8 hours ago
Foggy was referencing a several-day twitter debate we [and “Pogue Moran”] were having re: aka Obama’s fugitive mother, known at the time of her 1985 Domestic Terrorism arrest as “Elizabeth Duke”.

He was ridiculing my statements indicating that she will be brought to Justice. Another of his ridiculing tweets was something like “You know who runs the Feds? He he he” meaning since Holder’s in charge, fat chance that “Duke” will be taken into custody.

The joke will soon be on all of them.

It seems to me that this might be Zullo’s totally crazy closed-door presentation, and maybe even what he’s been working on all this time. For this to work, they will have to come up with a new non-American father unless Kessler was confused. Note Trowbridge’s word, “soon.”

Barack Obama is a birther?

OK, except in some really right-wing-nut-job states, it’s not cool to be a Republican birther. Establishment Republicans think (rightly so in my view) that birthers discredit any group they are associated with. Further Republicans say (with some accuracy) that liberals are ready to jump on anyone they can smear with the “birther” label. Republican leaders (such as the current presidential nominee apparent) are very sensitive to this issue, ready to dissociate themselves from birthers to and to reject the label (no matter how well the shoe fits many Republicans).

Now two conservative pundits have come up with a scheme to turn birther pariah status to their advantage. They’ve called Barack Obama every other nasty name in the book, why not call him a birther? They are not saying Barack Obama was born in Kenya, but that Obama pretended to be born in Kenya to get preferential treatment in college as a foreign student, ignoring the fact that Obama graduated from a US high school, was a US Citizen with a Connecticut social-security number and as such would never be considered a foreign student no matter where he was born. Wacky as it is, Rush Limbaugh and Mike Huckabee have signed on.

Monkeys with typewriters

It’s been said that if you get enough monkeys randomly typing for a long enough time, they will produce the works of William Shakespeare

That thought came to mind as I was reading a web link provided in an email from Deep Birther. The link was to an article by Martha Trowbridge at The Terrible Truth blog. Trowbridge has made a name for herself in birther circles with her alternate biographical stories about Barack Obama including him being fathered by Malcolm X.

I looked at the particular article in question briefly, and decided it was really too crazy to delve into. Whenever I decide not to look into something I feel a little defensive. I can imagine an argument being thrown at me: “just because Trowbridge has been proven wrong before [e.g. in the case of saying Obama went to Indonesia at age 2 to live with President Suharto] that doesn’t mean she’s wrong now.” That’s true. However, it is also true that just because a dozen monkeys have not come up with the works of William Shakespeare yet that they won’t do it today.

If I want to read Shakespeare, I go to the library and not the zoo.

How old was Obama when he moved to Indonesia?

I did a bad thing. I said something without checking my facts. I won’t make excuses. I did it and I apologize. What I said, in the article Math anomalies in new article, was that the date of the Obama divorce decree doesn’t jive with Obama moving to Indonesia at age 2  following the divorce. That’s wrong. Barack actually was 2 at the time of the divorce so a move at age 2 would be consistent with a move following the divorce.

imageSo, did Barack Obama really move to Indonesia at age 2, instead of age 6 as I have always said? Could the statue of Barack Obama in Jakarta, Indonesia, shown right, be that of a two-year old?

The way to answer such questions is to look at the record. The Washington Post says the move occurred in 1967, but they don’t source it. The Post wrote:

The son’s notion of his loving mother’s naivete began in Indonesia, when they arrived in the capital city, Jakarta, in 1967, joining Soetoro, who had returned to his home country several months earlier.

That Post article is the source the Wikipedia uses to document the date, and probably where all the conventional wisdom on the subject springs from.

To answer any lingering doubts, one must consult primary sources, and in this case there is a wealth of contemporary information obtained via the Allen FOIA. What we find in the record is that Barack’s stepfather Lolo Soetoro returned to Indonesia in late July or early August of 1966 and that while in Indonesia an application was filed to return to the United States to be with his wife and child. (The visitor program under which Soetoro had been in the US required him to return to his native country for two years prior to returning to the US.) In a document dated October 6, 1967, we find this (page 31):

The applicant’s United States citizen wife resides at 2234 University Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii, with her 6-year-old United States citizen son by a prior marriage. The applicant, who returned to Indonesia and has been residing there for over 14 months in an effort to satisfy the foreign residence requirement, earns a very meager salary and is dependent upon members of his family. His wife has remained with his stepchild in the United States and earns about $400 per month. She has made an application for a visa for herself and her son to travel to Indonesia as she is determined to join her husband as soon as possible, if he is not permitted to return here, because she can lo longer endure the separation.

Obama was registered in school in Indonesia January 1, 1968. That pretty much nails it. Obama was 6 years old when he went to Indonesia. I should add that the date of the Soetoro marriage (also from the FOIA) is in March of 1965.

Why is anyone discussing this in the first place? There are two answer to that question. First the birthers want to cast doubts on every aspect of Barack Obama’s live story so that they can maintain that he is a “stranger” and is hiding his true self. The second reason relates to Indonesian law. If Obama was 6 (and he was) then Indonesia wouldn’t have granted him Indonesian citizenship without renouncing US citizenship (and that’s impossible for a 6-year-old). So it proves Obama was never an Indonesian citizen.

I want to thank Mario Apuzzo for pointing out my error on his blog, although it would have been more helpful if he had told me directly, since I don’t normally visit his blog.

Math anomalies in new article

Martha Trowbridge continues to develop her fantasy biography of Barack Obama at The Terrible Truth blog. Out of respect for the blog’s copyright policy, I will only include this brief excerpt:

In an AP interview entitled Harvard Student Tackles Racism At Core, published 3 May 1990, he stated three words he surely has regretted:

“At age 2.”

Looking at the actual newspaper article, the material in quote is not said by Barack Obama, but rather the article writer. The context is supposedly the age at which Obama moved to Indonesia. The actual words of the article say “at age 2 when his parents divorced.&#8221. The article just made a mistake.

The whole birther movement is a mistake.


Obama actually was 2 years old when the Obamas divorced in January of 1964. However, a published Washington Post report indicates that the Soetoro family moved to Indonesia in 1967 (when Barack was either 5 or 6) and that he started school there at age 6.