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Work in progress. Notes gathered in research.

Are you blogging more… But enjoying it less?

Borrowing an advertising slogan from Camel cigarettes, I introduce this research article about the Orly Taitz web site. I have never fully trusted poll numbers on birthers because a poll respondent does not necessarily tell the truth, nor do polls measure birther enthusiasm. One other source for information comes from the public participation on birther blogs.

I have published site statistics from this blog covering the past 3 years, and at the present time interest measured in page views on this blog is on the decline. What about birther sites? Generally birther web sites do not publish their activity statistics. Orly Taitz has a page hit counter2 of dubious value, and as of last month, verified numbers from her site are available at Alexa.com, but there is no historical data.

One way to value site engagement is to look at comments1, and while it is tedious to do, it is possible to count comments on a WordPress blog by crawling the entire site, and this is what I have done for Orly’s blog. Here’s the result  from March of 2010 to the present:

TaitzComments

The high point is January of 2013, the month Barack Obama began his second term as president. Of course any measure of comments at the Taitz site is affected by her moderation policy and the fact that she deletes comments and articles. Also this doesn’t account for any technical errors in my data-gathering software, or historical data loss.

Just for comparison, here are the comment numbers for my site added for the same period:

WebComments

Given statistics that suggest Taitz has twice the number of page views than here, the relatively small number of comments is really striking.


1Most blog visitors do not comment, so comment numbers don’t equal visits, but comment numbers can be studied over time. One thing of note is that visitors here have more to say about the articles than they do at Orly’s site. While the average article here has about 65 comments, the number there is around 4. Of course Taitz has many times the number of articles that I do.

2The Taitz hit counter first appeared in November of 2011 with an initial value around 22,518,751. Here is a chart roughly showing monthly values over the prior month using historical values from the Wayback Machine:

TaitzHits

While her comment totals are tapering off the past few months, her hit counter seems to be trending up.

Kapi’olani digging

So Rambo Ike asked me over at Birther Report (before I gave it up for Lent) just when was the earliest reference to Obama being born at Kapi’olani hospital. Of course I wasn’t going to kick over a hornet’s nest and mention the birth certificate, which in all fairness didn’t see the light of day until 2011. I had to do a little digging, and here’s my reply:

The earliest Kapi’olani reference is a really good challenge. Most of my interest started with the birthers, and my knowledge of pre-birther history is pretty light. But let’s see what I can do.

The earliest Kapi’olani reference I know of without looking is the one in the Honolulu Advertiser from November 9, 2008, citing “family sources.” You can read about that here:

That’s the interview that contains Tong’s comment;

“We don’t have plans to do anything,” said Kapiolani Medical Center spokeswoman, Claire Tong, when asked how the center plans to commemorate the soon-to-be 44th U.S. president, who, according to Obama’s family and other sources, was born at that hospital on Aug. 4, 1961.

“We can’t confirm or deny it — even though all the information out there says he was born at Kapiolani Hospital. And that’s because of the HIPA (sic) law.”

Tong acknowledged that the center has received daily inquiries from news agencies far and wide asking for confirmation of Obama’s birthplace. Much as she wishes she could do it, Tong said it’s not possible.

“Our hands are tied,” she said.

David Maraniss, who would later write a Biography of Obama, wrote of Obama’s birth at Kapiolani in an article in the Washington Post August 24, 2008. Maraniss doesn’t give a source

The Honolulu Star Bulletin article: “Punahou left lasting impression on Obama” from February 8, 2007 says Kapiolani.

Another article from the Star Bulletin from March 21, 2004 also lists Kapiolani as Obama’s place of birth. That article was copied, mentioning Kapiolani, at the Free Republic forum also in 2004, so we can be pretty sure it wasn’t changed.

FR - Kapiolani 2004

That’s as far back as I can find.

When did Greg Hollister check Obama’s SSN?

On February 9, 2011, Greg Hollister (litigant in the Hollister v. Soetoro lawsuit) sent a private email to Orly Taitz, and copied John Hemenway (Hollister’s attorney in the lawsuit), Larry Elgin (Hollister appellate attorney), Susan Daniels (a private investigator assisting Orly Taitz) and Linda Bent (a writer) stating that he had  a web printout from the Social Security Administration indicating that Barack Obama’s social-security number did not pass the Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS). For background on what that meant, see my March, 2011 article, “More social-security troubles for the President?

Taitz recently published an image of Hollister’s email, but rather than redacting the addresses, I’ll just present the text, making it accessible to search engines at the same time:

Dear Ms. Taitz.

I have been monitoring your efforts at a distance reference the eligibility of Barack Obama to serve as POTUS. I see that you are now filing suit reference his many SSNs.

I have a copy of Obama’s selective service card with the SSN affixed. I, as a small business owner have access to the Social Security Number Verification System. As a result, I checked the SSNVS for the SSN Obama used for registering with Selective Service. The SSNVS search resulted in a report sheet that states that number Obama used to register for Selective Service was never issued.

Let me be direct – i have not agreed with many of your tactics in this endeavor. However, I have continued to follow your efforts to see where there may be synergy and this is one.

Therefore if you think the documents will be helpful, please let me know and I will send you the PDF files for both the Selective Service Card and the SSNVS report that states that SSN was never issued.1

Sincerely
Greg Hollister

Gregory S. Hollister, Colonel, USAF, Retired
President, Hollister Enterprises, LLC2

Hollister doesn’t say when he ran the SSNVS check, but the letter suggests a sequence of events.

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Defend our Freedoms Foundation update

While it sounds dodgy, the term “fictitious business” is a normal classification in California. Taitz’ DOFF fictitious business registration with Orange County expired at the end of last year. This may be intentional because the significance of a “fictitious business” is that the name of the business is not reflected in its articles of incorporation. The Defend Our Freedoms Foundations (sic) was registered as a corporation after the fictitious business filing.

image

Taitz has (at least) two corporations in California. The earlier one (entity number C1871559) is from 1994.

imageThe second, for DOFF (entity number C3189036), is from 2009:

image

It appears that Taitz did not follow through with her registration of the DOFF as a California charity (screen shot taken today):

image

The 3189036 number appears to be a Secretary of State or Franchise Tax Board Number.

According to the Second Notice to Register (dated December 19, 2011):

PLEASE REPLY WITHIN 30 DAYS TO AVOID LOSING YOUR TAX-EXEMPT STATUS WITH THE CALIFORNIA FRANCHISE TAX BOARD.

I had reported in my prior article that some reports appeared on the Internet that the DOFF had a federal employer ID number (FEIN) of 26-4328440. The charities registration site used to retrieve the record preceding also allows for a search by FEIN, and that number did not return a record.

A search of charitable organizations with the IRS does not list the DOFF, neither by name nor EIN. (I suggest searching for the word “Defend” within the state of California to return a manageable number of results.)

The Defend our Freedoms Foundation web domains are owned owned by a Taitz detractor (who I presume is Lisa Ostella, Taitz’ former webmaster).

The lack of a determination by the IRS that the DOFF is tax exempt does not necessarily mean that the organization is not tax exempt; however, anyone taking a tax deduction for an organization for a donation to an organization without a determination is taking a risk. Charitable organizations, whether recognized or not, are required to file IRS Form 990 or one of its variants.

Long memory

I’m starting a new page under the Features menu called “Long Memory.” On it, I want to collect some of the things birthers have said in the past, that didn’t work out as seen in retrospect. I started the collection with a quote from Joseph Farah saying that he thought Obama wouldn’t run for re-election in 2012, and that he was certain Obama wouldn’t win.

What’s your favorite?

Indiana order to show cause

Scales of Justice imageI’ve been wondering exactly what this was about ever since I learned about a court date for November 27 where Orly Taitz is ordered to appear before judge S. K. Reid in Indiana to “show cause.” In my limited legal experience, an order to show cause is usually a bad thing for the one who receives it, and that turns out to be the case here.

Taitz disclosed on her blog yesterday what it is about in a published copy of a letter to Judge Reid that says in part:

Orly Taita photoI received from you a letter stating that this court intends to hold a hearing to show cause regarding release and publication of a certain audio transcript of the October 22 hearing, which contains expert testimony of forgery in the birth certificate of Barack Obama. “Parties are ordered to show cause  whether or not they should be in Contempt of Court for the release and posting on “Youtube” of the audio recording of October 22, 2012 hearing, all in violation of this court order and pursuant to the Code of Judicial Conduct rule 2.17”

I can understand why Judge Reid is upset by the release of the recording because it puts her in a very bad light. Reid allowed Taitz to get testimony into the record from unqualified experts. I think the trial should never have been held while motions to dismiss were pending and that the audio recording is an embarrassment to the judge (as well as to Taitz). The only mitigating factor for Judge Reid is that she vacated the entire trial afterwards.

If Taitz is to believed, and I personally do in this instance, the audio recording in question was made by the court reporter and sold to Taitz. The court ordered the parties not to make recordings, but Taitz didn’t do that. What she probably did was to publish, or to allow to be published, the recording she properly obtained and after the recording was published on YouTube, she published the embedded YouTube copy of it on her web site. As of this morning, the YouTube video itself has been made private.

YouTube "This video is private" logo

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