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Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses, except Michael Shrimpton

Christopher Earl Strunk has a lawsuit in progress, at which he would like Michael Shrimpton to testify. The whole convoluted business can be found in a new lawsuit against the Department of State mostly (plus some others).

According to the complaint in an “Intent to file” motion in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (1:2014cv00995), Strunk sent Michael Shrimpton a round-trip plane ticket for the US so that he might testify for Strunk, but when Shrimpton applied for a visa to visit the US, it was denied. This suit wants that denial reversed. Of course, every visa denial comes with a reason, and in this case it was because Shrimpton was not able to convince the US Consul in London that if the US let Shrimpton in, that he would return home when the visa period ended. Someone seeking a non-immigrant visa to the US has to show significant ties to their home community.

imageThe short paragraph preceding probably does not convey every nuance of the 132-page filing, and the interested reader can supplement my summary with the original complaint linked above; however, readers may want to consider first donning a pair of Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive sunglasses. Also one may reference the Department of State discussion of Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, under which Shrimpton’s visa was denied. It is possible that the US Consul was concerned that Shrimpton had been convicted of sex-related criminal misdemeanor charges which Shrimpton is currently appealing, as well as pending criminal charges that he falsely notified the British government of an impending nuclear terrorist attack in 2012.

The Shrimpton testimony seems dubious at best. Continue Reading →

Birthers waste millions in taxpayer dollars

You’ve heard, I’m sure, the claim that Obama has spent some large amount of money (since the amount is a wild guess, specifics vary widely) keeping his birth certificate a secret. Those who follow these questions know that nothing Obama can do will make the Conspiracy Theorists withdraw. If he was born in Hawaii, then he’s not a natural born citizen anyway. If a court rules the against them, it just means the judge is traitor. If nothing Obama can do (short of resigning) will have any effect on birther activity, then it is certain  that the birthers bear all of  the responsibility for all the public funds spent in dealing with birtherism.

What are those costs?

  • Members of Congress are flooded with emails, letters and phone calls asking questions and making demands related to birther theories. Their staff read and answer the mail.
  • State officials, including secretaries of state, are pestered with birther questions.
  • FOIA requests (which in most cases are free to the requester) have been filed, and must be researched and responded to
  • The state and federal courts have been flooded with cases (at least 60 actions!) and many of the plaintiffs have asked that the filing fee be waived.
  • Many of the cases involve government defendants (state secretaries of state, Nancy Pelosi, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Elections Commission, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Clinton, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Gates, various military commanders, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate — not to mention Barack and Michelle Obama). All of these are defended at public expense.

Add up the time and effort of congressional staff, judges, law clerks, state officials and federal agency staffers. It’s got to be in the millions. Birthers are not harmless.

Anger

Dr. Conspiracy

Dr. Conspiracy

When I read Dr. Fukino’s statement in the Hawaii Advertiser, I could almost feel how angry it would make the denialists. I also read a touch of anger in Fukino’s statement–she must  be certainly way past fed up with the whole business.

All of the speculation about foreign registrations under Hawaiian law 337-17.8 and the theories about secret meaning in Fukino’s official statements last October were trashed. The director of the State Department of Health said plainly that Obama was born in Hawaii. For those who have been struggling to gain mind share over the Internet, this must be devastating. Most people still befuddled by birther misinformation will fold up their tents and go home, leaving no one but the hard core Obama haters.

Add to that a week full of media coverage, almost universally negative, with even conservative outlets like Fox News calling the whole business crazy. Even the bastion of conservative intellectual thought, the National Review said: “… this theory is based on unreality, as two minutes’ examining the claims of its proponents reveals.”

Then there was the gratuitous end to Fukino’s statement that Obama is a “natural born citizen”. I can hear them yelling, “HOW DARE SHE! Who is SHE to say who is a natural born citizen?” (The white supremacists may have added a few other choice words in place of “she”.) But who are folks like Orly Taitz and Mario Apuzzo to say that he is not? She is only saying what judges and US attorney generals have said for years. But how arrogant that must have sounded to those whose own unbounded arrogance causes them to ignore mountains of legal opinion and claim that they alone know how to interpret the US Constitution.

No, it has not been a good week to be an Obama eligibility denialist. They must be pretty angry and I understand why.

Hawaii bursts birther bubble

Dr. Fukino

Dr. Fukino

I guess the Hawaii Department of Health has gotten fed up with the birther nonsense, and their attempts to read between the lines of the statement last year from Dr. Fukino.  In a strongly worded, and unambiguous statement today, reported in the Honolulu Advertiser, Dr. Fukino said:

“I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai’i State Department of Health verifying Barrack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai’i and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago….”

The birthers will go ape over that “natural-born American citizen” part, saying she’s not a constitutional expert, and that’s true. But she is an expert as to where Barack Obama’s birth registration says he was born.

Hard core conspiracy theorists speculated that Dr. Fukino is not talking about President Obama, but someone named “Barrack” (two R’s) Hussein Obama (the son of Barrack Obama Sr and Stannley Ann Obama). However, this typo was corrected in the version now posted on the state web site.

Fake information on passport web site

This one really got me. On the web site, PassportsUSA.com (not PassportUSA) , a web site that is purports to assist you in getting a passport, they list these requirements for your birth certificate:

Fake Passport Web Site

Fake Passport Web Site

  • Birth certificate should show a doctor’s signature, a midwife’s signature, the parent’s signature or the signature of a witness who was present at your birth.
  • The name of the hospital you were born at or taken to after your birth at home, in the car or where ever you happened to be born but later seen by a doctor at a hospital.
  • A raised registrar’s embossed, impressed or multicolored seal. Some older birth certificates may not have all of these elements on certificates from the 1970’s or earlier.
  • The paper itself should have a print pattern or emboss style that is sometimes raised again on some olders certificates this may not be present.
  • Birth certificate should have been issued within one year of your birth.

Huh?

On another page, they list the real requirements from the State Department: “*certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for US Passport purposes.”

PassPortsUSA.com is a WordPress blog (just like Obama Conspiracy Theories). Continue Reading →

Department of State denies birther allegations

Hollister v. Soetoro

Strunk v. State

In a surprise move, the United States Departments of State and Homeland Security in an answer to FOIA lawsuit Strunk  v. U. S. Department of State denied essentially all of the birther allegations against President Obama’s eligibility! Here are excerpts from the  document filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia today:

To the extent this paragraph alleges that President Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States or is otherwise ineligible to serve as President of the United States, that allegation is denied.

To the extent this paragraph alleges that President Obama may be an illegal alien or that President Obama is or ever was a citizen of Indonesia, those allegations are denied.

To the extent this paragraph alleges that President Obama’s birth certificate has not been released to the public, that allegation is denied. To the extent this paragraph alleges that the birth certificate released to the public at the direction of President Obama is not a valid birth certificate or that such certificate is not sufficient proof of U.S. citizenship, those allegations are denied.

Specifically, Defendants deny that President Obama was born in Kenya or anywhere outside the state of Hawaii. Continue Reading →

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