Local Honolulu paper gets the story
Birther Summit organizer Dean Haskins and Tea Party activist and author Miki Booth pose with a really big check that they are offering for a physical copy of the Honolulu newspaper announcement of Barack Obama’s birth. (Photo credit: Chad Blair / Honolulu Civic Beat)
Many readers here will find this old news, the $10,000 premium (up from $5,000) for an old newspaper. I primarily wanted to mention this story in order to feature the Honolulu Civil Beat paper that has an in-depth article on Dean and Miki’s adventure in Hawaii. I note that the article’s title is “Birthers: $10,000 for Obama Birth News Clip” but the URL to the article is based on the title “Birther Nuts in Town.” Perhaps that was an earlier or draft title.
Once again we find that local newspaper coverage of a birther event is far superior to national coverage. We find out where the $10,000 is coming from (an anonymous donor) and learn about Miki’s upcoming book. It’s so refreshing not to have to read recycled WND.
The offer for the newspaper is what I would describe as innuendo. An argument that every microfilm copy of the two Honolulu papers, from the public library in Honolulu to the Library of Congress, have been faked is so laughable that few would believe it. However, by offering a reward for something no one is likely to have kept, they cast doubt. They are saying through innuendo that something may be wrong, even though no one would believe such a thing based on a straight up argument. Dean has said that finding a physical copy of the newspaper wouldn’t dissuade his campaign to prove Obama ineligible, so why offer the reward if not for innuendo?
While on the topic of innuendo, let me offer some. We learn from this article that some anonymous donor paid for the birthers’ trip to Hawaii as well as put up the $10,000. In my opinion, this newspaper reward gambit is too sophisticated for a hack conspiracy theorist, but rather smells of a professional political operative. Perhaps there really is a puppet master funding and pulling the strings of the birther movement, at least the Birther Summit incarnation of it.
Yes, there are microfilm copies of the announcements so I have no doubt they are real. It would be better served if Dean offered up a $10,000 reward for each of the following two challenges:
1. Someone who can produce a 1960’s era US birth certificate that lists a parent’s race as African (or a similar politically correct term.) (Besides Obama.)
2. Someone who produce A Hawaii birth certificate that shows a smiley face in the Alvin Onaka stamp. (Besides Obama of course. The smiley face is blatant on Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate even on the high resolution scan.)
I doubt Dean would able to deliver on any of these challenges because no one would be able to produce anything.
The idea that all microfilmed copies of the newspaper birth announcements of Barack Obama could have been replacements for the originals is, indeed, laughable. But it’s almost as laughable that a family member or someone could have just cimply called the Honoluly papers and gotten a phony announcement of baby Obama’s birth printed.
See, back in the day when privacy laws didn’t prevent the printing of comphensive listes of local births, many newspapers in small to medium markets did so. But they didn’t do it by taking calls from anyone who claimed that a certain birth took place.
Newspapers are for-profit,, labor-intensive enterprises. So any paper seeking to print a comprehensive list of births in its city would get the list from an authoratative source. In Honolulu, that source was a local news agency, which got its list from the state department of health, which got its info from the hospitals. In Texas and very likely in other states, small newspapers got their lists directly from the hospitals.
Three reasons for getting the birth records from a single, or a very few, authoratative sources:
1. It’s a lot more efficient, fitting my point about the business beiing labor intensive. A news clerk (typically) would type of the list(s) in 15 minutes in most instances. If each birth had to be rounded up individually, there would be time lost to starting and stopping and starting over again, double-checking spelling and other factrs. In itsel, fthis would be small potatoes, but nwewsroom efficiency was the sum of many small effeicienties.
2\. Working from one or a very few lists woule most certainly cut down on errors, and despite lapeses, newspapers have always strived for a reputatoin for accuracy. An uncle might not know the spelling of the married name of his niece, the new mother, or a grandmother may not realize that the young woman she knew as Laurie is actually now Lori.
3. It guarded against the risk of li libel. Since newspapers have existed, there have been people bent on punking them. If a prankster could call in a supposed birth and have it accepted at face value, a woman might wake up and find herself supposedly giving birth by a man she is known to loathe, prompting her to scan the yellow pages for lawyers, libel.
I know how this offer of money thing works. They are under no obligation to pay anyone that shows up with this newspaper clipping, and they have no reason to shell out 10 grand for evidence that debunks their claims.
That real newspaper clipping will simply be rejected with some excuse. It always does.
“Perhaps there really is a puppet master funding and pulling the strings..”
It sure isn’t Soros.
I still have the New York Times, from the East coast blackout of 1965.
Oh, wrong city and year.
So, it could be a Koch and bull story?
Or perhaps, the funding comes from the estate of the late Terry Haskins since his brother Dean is a ne’er do well?
It’s an old propaganda trick. See also the $15,000 offer to Colin Powell.
A more sophisticated version of “absence of evidence is evidence of absence”. Just like the ID people or the Flat Earth crowd constantly offers money to real scientists to “debate” them, trying to turn refusal into an admission of some kind.
That’s like me offering the pope $10,000 to listen to my arguments why God can impossibly exist, then use his refusal or ignoring me as a reason to claim “he’s afraid of my arguments, he cannot refute them, he knows listening to me would make him an atheist”.
It’s basically the best way of turning absolutely nothing into a powerful propaganda argument.
Of course there’s the odd chance that someone can actually come up with such a piece of newspaper, but you can be sure that they’ll spin this as proof of the conspiracy as well. Because, as everyone knows, the existence of counter-evidence proves the existence of the conspiracy as it’s the conspiracy itself that forged this counter-evidence.
Catch-22, as always.
So even if they had to pay up, it would well be worth the propaganda effect.
An American businessman gets an audience with the pope. He says, “I want to donate $1 million to the church.” The pope says, “thank you. It will be used wisely.”
The businessman says, “you have to do something for me.” The pope asks “what do you have in mind?” The man says, “you say a prayer in the morning, ‘give us this day our daily bread.’ I want you to change it to beer.”
The pope says that is impossible. The man says, “I’ll give you $2 million dollars.” The pope refuses. The man says, “I’ll give you $3 million dollars.” The pope still refuses. The man says, “I’ll give you $4 million dollars.” The pope says, “the prayer is ‘give us this day our daily bread,’ and I will not change it.”
The businessman says, “how much are you getting from the bread people?”
That sounds like the acts of desperation from a senseless bully.
Reward for proof that Sarah Palin gave birth in 2008, as she claims, is over $22,000:
Palin’s Secret Service code name was “Eraserhead.”
Of course, but when has propaganda not been about bullying?
> Reward for proof that Sarah Palin gave birth in 2008, as she claims, is over $22,000
Wasn’t there a guy who offered $$$ to the physicist who could prove his “perpetuum mobile” did not work? He won the case when the guy refuting him sued him for the money, but only because the refutation had some errors in it; the case however made clear that his machine didn’t work. So kind of a loss-loss situation there.
But don’t forget that this version of a straw man argument has been used quite often; it’s like claiming “relativity theory predicts that the moon should turn into a cow once every year, so we offer $1 million to the one who can provide a picture of the moon cow” and then concluding “because no-one took up the offer, the prediction is wrong and therefore relativity theory is wrong, q.e.d.”.
If that’s bullying, it’s cleverly done, because I predict at least 20% of the people would fall for that kind of reasoning. “Proof that GWB does not beat his wife has not been offered, despite a $10 million reward”.
But then again, birtherism has always been about that.
“Kapiolani won’t confirm Obama was born there.”
“No forensic expert comes forward to declare LFBC legit.”
Of course, birtherism goes the step further by cotinuing to maintain such despite it not being true – how often do I still see “Not one person remembers seeing Obama at Columbia” or the “Not one expert has said it might not be a forgery”. The oddity of northers being that both are demonstrably untrue, and birthers simply ignore them and shout louder “I SAID NO ONE REMEMBERS HIM AT COLUMBIA”.
Usually conspiracies come up with explanations for that evidence (usually by saying they’re part of the conspiracy). Birthers go a step further and just ignore it and continue to hold the previous line.
I really really hate that tactic, but grudgingly admire its effectiveness. It’s so elegant in its simplicity.
An original newspaper with the President’s birth announcement would probably carry some value as a collectible artifact. I am not sure that it would approach $10,000 in value though. If I had one I certainly would sell it to these clowns even if they had the cash in hand. This offer is about as genuine as WND’s offer to pay $15,000 to Kapi’olani that they reneged on paying.
So, for the legal types, what if somebody did have it, produced it for them, and they refused to pay up? Could They be sued?
I know, for example, that people making sarcastic and such claims “Oh come on, I’ll give you a million dollars if that’s true!” or things a reasonable person wouldn’t consider real you can’t sue for if someone acts upon it. But these guys are posing with checks, making MULTIPLE offers of the money, etc.
If someone presented the genuine article, and Haskins simply said “Forgery, no money for you!” could they sue over it and have a decent chance of winning?
I wonder if the guy in this video ever paid Ali G for his proof of the theory of evolution:
My guess is that there’s no $10,000 at all. The reference to an “anonymous benefactor” is a smoke screen so Haskins won’t have to show where he got the money from, or rather didn’t.
There’s no danger he’ll ever have to pay up, since no one will ever be able to come up with a copy of that paper that won’t immediately be claimed to be a forgery, so no actual money needs to exist.
If Haskins was honest, he’d do what honest people do with real offers of this sort. He’d put the money in a trust, administered by a disinterested trustee, who would ensure the money was paid out if the criteria was met, independent of Haskins or the birthers.
but then if he was honest, he wouldn’t be a birther.
That’s my question – let’s say someone comes up with an authentic copy. Haskins will claim it’s a forgery. They sue him for the money, and bring in an accredited forensic person who claims they see nothing wrong.
None of this will happen, but this isn’t like people that ask for subjective things “I’ll pay if you can prove god doesn’t exist!” This was an actual published document, and there might be a copy out there.
If someone actually did come up with the real paper they would be fools to 1) give it to these fools and 2) accept ONLY $10K for it. Haskins would just destroy it or try to sell it for many times the $10K. If one exists it should be given to the National Archives for safekeeping. Or put it on eBay with a $10M minimum bid.
For what it’s worth, the $10,000 is real. Haskins posted a screenshot of the deposit slip on another site.
So while he may be crediting an ‘anonymous benefactor,’ I don’t see much reason to question whether the $10,000 is REAL. Haskins himself is 60 years old and reasonably successful; if he doesn’t have $10,000 that’s liquid enough to put into a savings account, he’s practiced some very poor personal finance.
None of that means that the $10,000 is legitimately on the table. The offer is already conditioned on someone possessing an unremarkable half-century-old newspaper. Even if someone should produce one, he can either move the goalposts or refuse to accept it. Just like every ‘reward’ that was offered for Obama’s long-form.
I will make this pledge right here, right now, on the Obama Conspiracy blog. I will offer one million US dollars, cash, in exchange for the original birth certificate of Jesus Christ.
A deposit slip only means that Haskins once had 10k that he moved from one place to another. Is the money still there? Is it still available? Was it ever intended to be used to satisfy the offer?
I have my doubts. If you never intend to pay up, why would you bother keeping the money available?
…….has to include those of his parents or he wouldn’t be Natural Born……..just sayin’
Exactly……there is no way that there is any actual $10,000 that would be paid if this paper should appear. They will scream ‘FAKE’ faster than you can say “baby born in August in 1961 and here’s the paper saying to.”
A neo-Nazi, anti-Jewish organization called the Institute for Historical Review, offered $50,000 to anyone who could “prove” that Jews were gassed in Auschvitz. A gentleman named Mermelstein offered the proof to the IHR, they refused to pay, he sued in a California court which took judicial notice of the holocaust and the gassing of Jews, and the IHR “settled” the suit for the 50 g’s plus 40 g’s more. From the “Jewish Virtual Library”:
“The one case directly involving the substance of Holocaust-denial propaganda in an American court was a 1985 lawsuit brought against the IHR by Mel Mermelstein, a Holocaust survivor living in Long Beach, California. In the early ’80s, Mermelstein had responded to a cynical IHR publicity campaign which offered $50,000 to anyone who could prove that Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz by submitting evidence that members of his own family had been murdered at that concentration camp. When the IHR failed to comply with its promised terms, Mermelstein filed his suit. In July 1985, the lawsuit was settled in Mermelstein’s favor. The settlement, approved by judge Robert Wenke of the Los Angeles Superior Court, called for the IHR to pay Mermelstein the $50,000 “reward,” as well as an additional $40,000 for pain and suffering. Moreover, at a pre-trial hearing, the Court took judicial notice of the fact that gas chambers had been used to murder Jews at Auschwitz..”
Hmmm. There may be a copy in The Archko Volume
If he failed to pay up, it would be a birther PR nightmare. I think they would pay up, but say it meant nothing (which they already have).
No, it isn’t there at all at high resolution — just a couple of smudges.
I respectfully disagree, Doc. Obama releasing his LFBC was a PR nightmare for the birthers too. Claiming it’s a forgery, especially after non-birthers predicted they would just claim it was a forgery, lost them any credibility they may have had (it could happen…) among the general population. Yet they did it, and managed to keep the faithful pushing the paypal button.
How much harder is it to convince the choir that the newpspaper is a forgery than the LFBC is a forgery?
This is what think would happen. Even if they accepted it and paid up, Haskins has AlREADY said that it would prove nothing because the INSERTION of the birth record could have been fraudulent since (despite the fact that none has been demonstrated) it was “so easy” to get a Hawaiian birth fraudulently registered in 1961.
So my prediction would be they say it’s a forgery, then eventually pay up, and claim that even if true it’s meaningless.
If he failed to pay up, it would be a birther PR nightmare. I think they would pay up, but say it meant nothing (which they already have).
There are several reports from the Honolulu newspapers and former old-time journalists that say that the announcements came from a news service that got them from the Department of Health. No parental advertisements.
My reply to doc appears before his post…. thus proving I can time travel. I’m off to go take pictures of Obamas birth in Hawaii, so the birthers can claim more forgeries. I will return yesterday
I will pay $1M to anyone who can prove the moon is made of green cheese.
I saw Jesus on a slice of bread I burned this morning.
Excuse me sir, but I do believe I said original and not some copy.
Besides, I have seen the purported Jesus birth certificate, and it is an obvious forgery that any four year old could see was a fake. You can see the layers.
Pay attention, John- the birthers have already posted other Hawaiian birth certificates that list the parents race as Japanese, etc.
You are arguing an obsolete birther talking point.
I disagree. Several birthers offered prize money if Obama produced his long-form; none paid up. Farah even solicited donations to fund a $15,000 reward, which was to be given to a children’s hospital, and he STILL reneged.
I don’t see Dean’s failure to pay up being any more of a PR nightmare than stiffing a children’s hospital and keeping all the donations instead.
Besides, the odds of anyone actually applying for the reward are slim to none. It’s a fifty-year-old unremarkable newspaper from a remote city. Even assuming that there ARE extant copies out there, remember just how fringe Dean & Company are, and consider the likelihood of people ever hearing about his offer in the first place. It’s not like this is a well-publicized reward; out of every single person I know in real life, I *guarantee* I’m the only person who’s even heard of Dean’s offer.
Well, considering that just being a Birther itself is a PR nightmare… they don’t have any credibility to begin with and therefore nothing to really lose…
On another board, I remember somebody saying that courts have ruled that in these cases, the person making the offer is the final arbiter regarding whether or not the conditions for the reward have been met?
Is anyone aware of any court rulings on the subject either way?
When these things are drawn up by real lawyers they usually put the necessary clauses in so that the donor or a committee decides. I doubt the birthers are that smart. Especially in this case. Of course it would quite possibly cost more than the $10k to do all the travel & research to find an extant copy of the paper, so no one’s going to bother with this. Unless they have a relative who is a pack rat.
All true, plus if a physical copy of the paper had survived, I’m sure we’d know about it. Nobody’s going to have heard of the offer, but if anybody found a collection of Honolulu Advertisers from 1961, they’d almost certainly look through to see if they had the one with the birth annoucement. If they did, they’d surely have advertised the fact somehow.
Pity. Bishop Usher was convinced the world was created exactly four thousand years before Jesus’s birth. It would be interesting to see if the certificate read October 23rd, 4 BC.
“Perhaps there really is a puppet master funding and pulling the strings of the birther movement, at least the Birther Summit incarnation of it.”
Seriously, where do you think Mario gets his money from?
This can only be correct if the conditions are somehow subjective (“$10,000 to anyone who can build a better car than I”), not if they are objective (“$10,000 to anyone who can provide a first-issue copy of Playboy magazine”).
New Jersey binge drinkers?
gullible inbreds who believe that presidenting whilst black is a criminal offense?
Your list and mine may have idiots in common.
Patrick at Bad Fiction has noted that Gary Kreep is still hitting up birthers for contributions.
Keyes v. Bowen was on for a SCOTUS conference yesterday. Today SCOTUS released a list of cases which have been granted cert, and of course Keyes v. Bowen didn’t make the cut. Presumably the “cert denied” list will be published tomorrow, although it’s possible that it could go up later today.
I finally remembered where I saw a similar challenge. Well not really similar, because this one is (presumably) straightforward to win: produce the paper and Bob’s your uncle (except check the fine print).
What I was reminded of and took a few days to remember is the one summarized here: Claim CA341: Hovind’s Challenge and completely pulled apart here: Kent Hovind’s $250,000 Offer. The guy also filed for bankruptcy while still promoting his challenge and preaching that no takers means that he is right.
And oh, yeah. Guess who’s a Birther!
Penny donations, certainly, but I think there’s real money bankrolling Mario. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who does anything without being handed a suitcase full of banknotes.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to estimate the likelihood of payout based on whether the birther thinks he can win a court case.
Keyes v. Bowen was on for a SCOTUS conference yesterday.
Over on FR they are gushing as if this case had a chance of being “discussed” by the SCOTUS. These birthers have watched this same SCOTUS cert process fail at lease ten times in a row in the same way and fall for it everytime.
Kreeps totally mispresents the cert process in his appeal for donation by creating impression he will need thousands of dollars to be ready to go up against Obama in front of the SCOTUS. He lies about the entire process and leaves out the fact that the case died long ago.
LOL – birthers deserve these grifters.
There you go again. Asserting facts not in evidence.
It was Jerry Garcia.
I have it on good authority that there used to be a copy in the Darwin Mechanics Institute Library.
Unfortunately it was lost when Hurricane Tracey wiped out Darwin in 1976.
You mean like this Jerry Garcia??
I was thinking more of this Jerry Garcia
Sorry that’s a clothing ad, but it has a nice photo.