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April Fool!

Visitors to the site earlier today will have seen this image:

It’s my little April Fool’s joke. On the last minute of March, 2014, I converted Obama Conspiracy Theories into something that I thought might look like the opening crack in the birthers’ universe shattering event.

The image was adapted from a notice I found on the Internet for a gambling site. “Arrest Warrant in Rem” refers to the seizure of property, not the arrest of a person. The image gives folks the opportunity to get move involved in the hoax since they have to search for statutes. 18 USC § 1756 deals with money laundering (a crime full of avenues for speculation) and 18 USC § 201 deals with bribery of a public official (the text of the 3rd paragraph comes directly from the statute).

The diligent birthers at Birther Report are having none of it:

image

They seem to think that there is some violation of federal law involved in my April essay, something about impersonating a federal agent or some such. The also have accused me of another crime in comments to this article: Someone posting under the name “Dr. Orly Taitz, Esq.” wrote:

Is no joke. Davidson set up fake Defend Our Freedom Foundation website stealing money and I alerted the FBI. He will be going to jail.

For the record, I have never set up any fake Defend Our Freedom Foundation website, nor have I ever stolen any money from Orly Taitz. Of course, I don’t know if this is the real Orly Taitz commenting or not—other commenters at BR are skeptical.

Taitz punked again? Fake SSA letter?

It sure looks like it

Orly Taitz is all excited, and has released a press release [link to Taitz web site], writing that:

Investigator, Mr. Brewer , working with attorney Taitz, finally received a confirmation from the SSA that they indeed have records of Harry Bounel, whose SSN 042-68-4425 Obama is using. It is interesting that they released without problems records of other deceased individuals, such as Thomas Wood, whose SSN 042-68-4424 is just one before Bouel’s, (sic) but they stated that the Bounel’s social Security application is with the Office of Earnings Operations.

Of course one’s initial response is that Taitz is reading something that isn’t there, which she well may be. She has a document on SSA letterhead that says:

This letter is in response to your February 3, 2014 inquiry to Acting Commissioner Colvin concerning your request for the late Mr. Harrison J. Bounel’s Social Security records. The records you requested are under the jurisdiction of our Office of Earnings Operations. We are referring your inquiry to that office. The officials there will look into the situation you described and reply directly to you. You should hear from them soon.

Signed? “Social Security Administration.” imageYeah, right. I have several letters from agencies responding to FOIA matters and they are universally signed by some individual. I think Taitz has been punked again. However, if the letter is legitimate, it actually doesn’t confirm that Bounel has any records with Social Security, but rather all Social Security records are handled by the Office of Earnings Operations. What it says is that records, not Bounel’s records, are under the Office of Earnings Operations.


1The file referenced  is an optimized version of the original Taitz.

Will government shutdown delay birther litigation?

In a story that sounds just too good [that is, bad] to be true, Orly Taitz says that it will. Recall that Taitz has a string of lawsuits against the executive branch to obtain Social Security records she thinks will prove Obama is using someone else’s SSN. She is also suing the Postal Service to get information about Obama’s Selective Service filing done at a post office in Hawaii.  Orly says in a press release [links to Taitz web site] that she got a phone call from “Daniel Van Horn, Chief of Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice” saying that the DOJ would seek an extension of time to reply in the Taitz v. Donahoe case because of the shutdown. Donahoe is the Postmaster General.

Taitz seems to be a bit more careful after been the victim of a string of hoaxes, at least noting and reporting the phone number that called her. The story sounds fishy for a several reasons. First, it doesn’t seem likely to me for the Chief of the Civil Division to be making phone calls in a pissant lawsuit such as Taitz v. Donahoe.  The second is the rather remarkable alleged disclosure that material submitted by Taitz had “disappeared” from the DOJ mail room (the kind of thing Taitz claims a lot but seems unlikely). Daniel Van Horn is more precisely the Chief of the Civil Division for the US Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, but the phone number Taitz reports doesn’t tie back to the US Attorney’s office. I did a reverse phone number lookup on it, and it went to Fannie Mae (The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)!

Privacy Star link showing phone 202-752-2506 belonging to Fannie Mae

Let’s play silly for a minute. Who do we know that is an Obama supporter, and the former head of Fannie Mae? None other than the venerable James A. Johnson, identified by Jerome Corsi as Obot and Fogbow poster Jimbot, aka neonzx. Re-entering the real world, I point out the word “former,” and of course JimBot is not the same person anyway.

I am painfully aware of my own confirmation bias when looking at an allegation to spot a hoax. I have an uninformed opinion about how the DOJ works and who would call whom that I use to make a decision. The phone number lookup could be unreliable. Still I was able to pile up enough points to tag this article “Punking the Birthers.”

Thanks to commenter Joe for the tip. You can read the text from the Taitz article in his comment moved below.

Update:

This article has been updated to indicate that Donahoe is the Postmaster General, and that the suit against the Postal Service is related to Obama’s Selective Service application.

Anonymity and Freedom of Speech

I support the right of anonymous speech, and that’s a longstanding policy on this blog. It’s an application of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—that particular formulation is from Jesus, but all of the worlds’ major religions include s similar principle.1 Before I retired, I was very concerned about my blogging here bleeding over into my job because several of my former company’s customers were state vital statistics agencies. And while I never had anything bad to say about those agencies (for whom I had high regard), it is still easy for something to be misunderstood or misrepresented. I want for people on both sides of the birther question to be able to speak their minds freely without having to look over their shoulders at work, or with family and friends. Sometimes the ability to freely express an opinion requires doing it anonymously. In my way of thinking, personal privacy usually outweighs telling every detail of a story.

Some don’t share my values

Both birthers and Obots have engaged in exposés of the other. I even got a shout out from Jerome Corsi in a 2011 article at World Net Daily. Certainly there is some aspect of revenge or intimidation in some of it. For some of the birthers, outing Obots is a contribution to the complexity of their conspiracy narrative. Some think that knowing the real name of the “demon” gives power over it.

Men in Black Suits

DocInBlackThe essay preceding didn’t come out of thin air; it was prompted by the recent publication by Orly Taitz of a FOIA request to the IRS about several things, one a lawyer working for the IRS who went to see one of Orly Taitz’ court appearances (there was a sign-in sheet that Orly got from the court in spite of objections, and then published). Taitz is demanding under FOIA the time cards for this attorney to see if that person was being paid by the government for the time spent attending the hearing and saying critical things about Taitz on the Internet. Of course Orly is much more specific about the identity of this person on her web site than I. Now I don’t think that Orly Taitz is trying to intimidate the attorney—Orly doesn’t have enough comprehension of other peoples’ feelings to come up with that. I think revenge against the Obots is probably the motivation, or perhaps a twisted idea of self defense.

Continue Reading →

Taitz deletes racially-tinged article, but why?

Commenter donna mentioned this article at the Taitz web site, but when I went looking, it was not there:

Error 404 on page http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/?p=412112

It was once there [Google cached version, Before it’s News reprint]. It was a letter of support from the “East Oakland Counsel of Conservative Citizens.” They have a novel theory about why President Obama is ineligible:

We at the East Oakland chapter have been following your case for several years, and we agree that we have the wrong president; he’s ineligible and should be brought to justice. Anyone with any sense can see that just by looking at this impostor.

And lest there be any question about where they are coming from:

It would have been obvious to anyone who viewed the elections of 2008 and 2012, that Obama is a shill for other, more evil powers, and has been inserted in power to advance the goals of those who would institute a truly anti-American multicultural government who will work against the European heritage that we at COCC believe will tear apart this country even more than we’ve seen since the Obama “presidency” began.

So the COCC offered some fund raising, and to send a busload of supporters to Taitz’ court hearing on April 22 in the Grinols case, describing it as a trial and saying that people showing up will influence the Court.

All of that said, the article in question is gone, zapped and erased; it is an ex-article. Now the question is “why?” Could it be that he East Oakland Counsel of Conservatives Citizens never existed? Is this rather one in a long string of attempts to punk Orly Taitz? Is it real, but Orly Taitz upon reflection decided she didn’t want their support? Is it just a technical glitch, or something entirely different?

The article says that the East Bay Bible Church is the COCC meeting place. Is this photo from the church’s Facebook page a clue?

East Bay Bible Church with non-white face

Not finding anything on the web about the “East Oakland Council of Conservative Citizens, ” nor about Taitz’ title variant, “East Oakland Counsel for Conservative Citizens” except as derived from her article, I’d say it was a fake.

Punking the birthers – priceless