Conservative Shadowlands: “Are you a ‘Birther'”? Hmmm…
I have a friend who is more informed about politics and current events than perhaps anyone else I know. I would like to claim that he is a conservative, but recently he has declared himself a “centrist” and even put up the results of a test he took on Facebook that confirms he inhabits the “center” of the political spectrum.
I think I know why my friend likes to inhabit that space.
First, it gives him more credibility and more room to operate politically. Declaring that you stand firm on one side of the political spectrum or the other taints what you have to say. People who identify with the opposite side of the political spectrum will tune you out automatically, and instead of listening to you, will try to defeat your argument without giving it a second thought. Life can suck when half the people (or more) in the office hate your guts.
Further, if you come out of the closet and declare that you are a “liberal” or a “conservative,” you are generally then forced to defend all liberals and all liberal policies, or all conservatives and all conservative policy, even though you may have good empirical ground to stand on for one or a host of issues that have made you a partisan. So, while you may be well-versed in the ideas of fiscal conservatism and voted Republican because of that, you may have to eventually defend the “conservative” position on gay marriage, immigration, et. al., and those may be issues you either don’t care much about, haven’t thought about, or have carved out your own position on. It sucks to be called a “racist” and a “homophobe” when your main concern was really the alternative minimum tax and the burgeoning cost of pensions for public employees.
For liberals a good example of this may be having to defend a belief in sound regulations against the idea that they are really a socialist scheme designed to eventually disable, then eradicate, the free market system altogether. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that there are some things that the government needs to do if there is going to be a modicum of protection for citizens. But, the radicals that liberals are aligned with make it difficult to propose these things without the necessity of reassuring opponents that it is about making the free-market system better. That can be a frustrating business.
The second reason I believe my friend is a “centrist” is because he disdains ideology (at times quite vigorously) and believes that the “truth” in politics is almost always found outside of the cacophony created by the clash between parties on the political battlefield. To some extent, he and other “centrists” are absolutely correct. There are plenty of examples we all could cite where one party accused the other of something, and it was only to be found out later that the accusatory party did the same exact thing itself.
I think a good example of this would be on the issue of corruption. It is senseless, the “centrists” would most likely maintain, for one party or ideology to claim any moral superiority over the other because, if you look close enough, no ideological commitment prevents the powerful from violating the public trust. In fact, there are times when ideology and the loyalty it promotes is the primary veil a scoundrel will hide behind. To a “centrist”, official corruption which uses ideology as a shield is probably one of the worst forms of hypocrisy there is.
I also believe that the “centrists” disdain ideology because it is dangerous. Let’s face it, ideology is the prime mover of fanaticism. Of course, it is very hard to imagine the politics of the 20th century and even of today without acknowledging the central role of ideological commitment. Ideology is the only way that political leaders can create a mass movement and impose upon a mob to act in their attempts to gain political power.
Ideology has been a great tool in the hands of politicians and will continue to be. Whenever there is a threat or an outflowing of political violence, one can be sure that there was someone who stood to gain from stoking the popular passions with an idea that instilled in aggressive and insistent mobs the seeds of action and intense loyalty by its claims to the absolute, unfettered truth.
I am pretty positive then, that my “centrist” friend, if asked about the case of Obama, his original place of birth, and his birth certificate, would most likely join the “anti-Birther” crowd; or those who believe that the people who continue to have questions about these things, have pending cases in court, and continue to research them are, at the very least, blinded by conservative ideology or are at worse, true-believing fanatics who have something pathologically wrong with them and are potentially dangerous.
Admittedly, to throw in with the “Birthers” is akin to social suicide. If half of the people in the office hate you because you have come out as a conservative, to admit you have questions about Obama’s origins publicly would probably earn you a multi-year banishment from all the office birthday parties, including your own. The only way you would ever get a piece of cake again is by convincing that nice administrative assistant in the other department to bring you one.
Yes, to ask questions about Obama’s birth place and thus, his constitutional eligibility for office, has become a dangerous thing to do; just talk to Lou Dobbs about it.
So, one would suspect, that given the amount of ridicule heaped on the so-called “Birthers,” the “idiocy”, the “fanatical frenzy” and utter stupidity of the claim that Obama has never proven his natural born citizenship in the U.S. should be readily obvious upon just a cursory review of the facts.
Well, I must admit, I don’t believe it is.
Thus, this would probably confirm both to my friend and other “centrists” that I am just another ideologue, uninterested in the truth and worthy of all the name-calling from the Left that is bound to come my way. They would probably question my motives and like conservative David Horowitz (a personal hero and a mentor of mine) has repeatedly insisted, “this tempest over whether Obama…was born on American soil is tantamount to the Democrats’ seditious claim that Bush “stole” the election in Florida and hence was not the legitimate president…is embarrassing and destructive.”
But I wonder: Despite all the verbal abuse heaped on the idea of questioning Obama’s natural born citizenship, has anyone offered a good explanation for the questions raised by the supposedly wing-nut, and wacko “Birthers?” I personally went through quite a number of websites that disdain the “Birthers”, and most of them just report the latest in “Birther” news while snarking and laughing at them.
Others do try to refute the arguments of the “Birthers” by pointing out that Obama released a certificate of live birth (COLB) from Hawaii and two officials from the state confirmed they had seen his original birth certificate. They also point out that Obama released a copy of the COLB to both Factcheck.org and fightthesmears.com and they verified the authenticity of the document. However, upon investigating the matter further, that is just not good enough.
For one reason, at the time of Obama’s birth in Hawaii there were four different ways for parents of a newly born child to obtain a legal birth certificate from the State. Out of those four methods, three did not require any proof at all that the newborn was born on American soil. Rather, all that was required for a parent to obtain a vault birth certificate was their own testimony either by letter or in front of a minor bureaucrat, that the child was born in Hawaii. And according to the Western Journalism Center:
if the original certificate is of [these]other kinds, then Obama would have a very good reason not to release the vault birth certificate. For if he did, then the tape recording of Obama’s Kenyan grandmother asserting that she was present at his birth in Kenya becomes far more important. As does the Kenyan ambassador’s assertion that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, as well as the sealing of all government and hospital records relevant to Obama by the Kenyan government. And the fact that though there are many witnesses to Ann Dunham’s presence on Oahu from Sept 1960 to Feb 1961, there are no witnesses to her being on Oahu from March 1961 to August 1962 when she returned from Seattle and the University of Washington. No Hawaiian physicians, nurses, or midwives have come forward with any recollection of Barack Obama’s birth.
Along with these things becoming far more important, so does the question of whether the originally COLB that was released on the internet in 2008 was a fraud or not. Ron Polarik has done extensive research on the internet version of the COLB and believes it is a fraud. As you can imagine, he has been met with much of the same vitriol and hysterical denunciations as have the “Birthers.” The story he tells about the attacks against him and the attempts at destroying his reputation is fascinating. It is available here.
I wonder, if the “centrists” are so concerned with dangerous fanaticism, why they fail to point out the unjustifiable language and scorn that is used to veil the fact that the concerns of a growing number of American citizens about the President’s place of birth, are legitimate. Until the question is answered and the truth is revealed, I see nothing wrong with keeping the question alive.
We are told time and again that the price of liberty is constant vigilance. We are being constantly cajoled to “get involved” and not to be apathetic. However, why are the intentions of some deemed honest and non-ideological, while the efforts of others are met with intimidation and mockery in order to keep them silent? Surely, by working through the courts the “Birthers” have been less disruptive and have proven to be less “fanatical,” ideological, confrontational, obnoxious, and self-righteous than have been Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, the anti-globalization movement, the anarcho-communists at Copenhagen, or any other of a number of leftist protest groups who no one can deny have industrial-sized conspiracy theories of their own.
Finally, I want to reproduce an important and interesting battle between two versions of the law that have been applied in the controversy over Obama’s birth origins. It includes an original analysis written by a law student which was later critiqued by a practicing attorney who has been litigating cases based on Obama’s birth certificate and eligibility. I think the attorney, Philip Berg, says it all. However, pay particular attention to the rhetoric the law student uses in order to introduce her very flawed analysis.
Again, she assumes without knowing all the facts that anyone who believes that an issue remains about Obama’s birth are “incompetent idiots.” (What is it with leftists and the “I” word anyway?.) She snips at the “Birthers” and misrepresents their perspective even as Berg (who is gentler than he can be) goes on to prove how utterly incompetent and misleading her original analysis was. It should be obvious, as Berg subtly points out, that there are pending cases in various courts on the matter and that the law student hasn’t even bothered to argue based on the points of law contained in those bonafide cases. By itself, this is highly incompetent and would not have gotten her through a first year legal writing class.
Where does such audacity and intellectual dishonesty come from? Why do liberals believe that just because they hold a certain perspective, that anyone that does not agree with them must be insane…er, idiots?
Perhaps it’s a function of their ideology. Or their fanaticism. Maybe they are the ones who are idiotic.
Whatever it is, I believe they are dangerous and must be watched! You will agree with me if you read Berg’s response below.
Emeritus posted a link to an article and asked me to address why the articles version of the laws are flawed. I am happy to do so.
Jamie Freeze, a law student, has called any of us who question Soetoro/Obama’s Citizenship status and Constitutional Eligibility to serve as U.S. President, a Constitutional Right of ours of course, incompetent idiots. However, Ms. Freeze may want to continue her education, part of being a lawyer, which is a very important part, is being able to comprehend what you read and to cite the correct law to collaborate it. Something Ms. Freeze has clearly failed to do. I will respond below to Ms. Freeze’s allegations, however, my responses are in bold. I also want to make very clear to all readers, none of the eligibility cases have been heard, litigated or dismissed based on the law pertaining to any of the issues raised. Instead, the eligibility cases have been dismissed on the basis of “STANDING” only.
This type of thing, by Ms. Freeze, is what gives folks the WRONG information and confuses them, it is a deception by Ms. Freeze (as a law student, I hope her professors teach her how to properly, honestly and with integrity, investigate, research the laws, properly cite the laws and argue issues before her). Otherwise, she will be unable to do her clients, when that time comes assuming she passes the bar, justice.
December 22, 2009
Facts are stubborn things: Obama is a natural-born citizen
By Jamie Freeze
I never will forget meeting former North Carolina State Senator Hugh Webster my senior year of high school. He came to my school and had lunch with the seniors. As he sat down beside me, I asked him to tell me what he most loved and hated about being in Raleigh. I don’t remember what he most loved, but I’ll never forget what he most hated. In the words of Mr. Webster, “I don’t deal well with incompetent people.”
Ms. Freeze, unfortunately, is showing her “INCOMPETENCE”, as Ms. Freeze would call it, but I feel “IGNORANCE” is the more appropriate word, as outlined below.
At that point, I knew Mr. Webster and I were kindred spirits. I too don’t deal well with incompetent people. As a matter of fact, I go out of my way to avoid them, but when dealing with them is inevitable, I can’t help but point out their incompetencies. As a law student, I am being trained to be meticulous, well-reasoned, and intelligent. After my final exam grades come back, we’ll see how well I’m doing. But that aside, I feel that I have been too longsuffering in letting the Birther Movement receive simply a few caustic remarks and jabs from me. It’s time for me to call a spade a spade. Here goes: If you believe that President Obama is NOT a natural-born citizen, then you are an incompetent idiot who is probably watching Glenn Beck while wearing a tin-foil hat. You probably think Obama’s a Muslim too.
Our lawsuits have nothing to do with Soetoro/Obama’s religion, they never have. Ms. Freeze seems to have lost a very important part of her education, we as people are entitle to redress, we as people are entitled to ask questions, especially of our elected officials. Incompetent Idiot? It appears that Ms. Freeze’s law school has taught her when you cannot counter something to call the opposing party names. That is not what I was taught in school. I do not see one shred of evidence that supports Ms. Freeze’s position. Ms. Freeze obviously forgot about Barry Soetoro’s name; Did she locate where he legally changed his name to Barack H. Obama? It is fraud to run for and serve as President under an “alias” name. What about Soetoro/Obama’s Indonesian citizenship? We have the School Record which Soetoro/Obama has admitted to.
If you are still reading (and not firing off angry emails), then allow me to offer you factual proof that Obama is a natural-born citizen who satisfies the constitutional requirements for Commander-in-Chief. My argument is two-fold: 1. Obama was born in Hawaii (a U.S. state for my incompetent readers). 2. Obama satisfies the requirements found in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which defines natural-born citizens.\\
Where is the factual proof? Ms. Freeze apparently forgot to attach it. What does Ms. Freeze have to back up that Soetoro/Obama was born in Hawaii? We have been unable to obtain verification of that, no long form birth certificate, only an image that has been deemed a forgery. Despite this, what about his Indonesian Citizenship? Had Ms. Freeze read our briefs, and retained the information, she would have seen that all we do is talk about the Nationality Act of 1940 revised in 1952.
1. Obama was born in Hawaii. Hawaii joined the Union in 1959. Barack Obama was born in 1961. Do the math. It works. Ok, so perhaps that argument is a bit over-simplified, but that is because I find the birth certificate question so ridiculous. The President released his birth certificate (which was verified by the Hawaii Health Department) yet conspiracy theorists refuse to see logic. “Big bad Obama must be hiding something. That certificate isn’t the long form. What’s he hiding?” What the naysayers fail to realize is that in 1961 the standard Hawaiian birth certificate was…wait for it…exactly the same length as Obama’s! The Hawaiian Health Department has said this, but as conspiracy theorists point out, they must be covering for Obama. Despite the facts, folks say that even if he was born in Hawaii, he is not a natural born citizen because his father was Kenyan. However, even if Obama was born on the moon, he would still be a natural born citizen under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
First, the “long version” birth certificate we are asking for has nothing do to with the size of the document itself, instead it has to do with the information on the document. We have never claimed Hawaii was not a State or Union, so this has nothing to do with the questions we are seeking answers too. Soetoro/Obama released two (2) images of a Certification of Live Birth, claiming it to be his birth certificate, which have been deemed to be forged and altered documents. Hawaii Health Department has NEVER verified the images placed on the internet. Law 101, no agency or person can look at an online image and state the document came from their agency or location, unless, the person making such statement was the one who personally printed the document in question (Soetoro/Obama’s Certification of Live Birth in this case) and handed it to Soetoro/Obama and can prove it is in fact the same document. In Soetoro/Obama’s case, his campaign office stated they mailed the application for his Certification of Live Birth to Hawaii and recieved this supposed document back from Hawaii. However, the date that Soetoro/Obama would have signed it, Soetoro/Obama was traveling and campaigning for the U.S. Presidency position. We are not disputing the length of Soetoro/Obama’s Certification of Live Birth, we have copies of other individuals actual Certificate of Live births from Hawaii within the same time period, these are two (2) completely different documents. Soetoro/Obama has never released a hard copy of any type of Certification of Live Birth or Certificate of Live Birth to anyone other than Factcheck.org which is part of Annenberg and yes who Soetoro/Obama has close ties with. I am wondering what Ms. Freeze is basing her unsubstantiated statements on. Maybe she will enlighten us. We are not questioning the British Father, as we are well aware of the fact if Soetoro/Obama was born on U.S. soil, which we do not believe, he would in fact be a U.S. “natural born” citizen. However, in fairness to Ms. Freeze, others have questioned the British citizenship of the father and claimed that even if Soetoro/Obama was born on U.S. soil he would not be a “natural born” U.S. citizen due to his father’s foreign citizenship status. I’m going to ask again, what about Soetoro/Obama’s legal name and his Indonesian Citizenship status? Ms. Freeze fails to address these very important issues. We have been unable to locate any legal documentation legally changing Soetoro’s name back to Barack H. Obama; where Soetoro/Obama relinquished his Indonesian Citizenship; and/or where Soetoro/Obama reclaimed any U.S. Citizenship status he may have once held. Again, hopefully Ms. Freeze will enlighten us.
2. Obama is a natural born citizen. In Scales v. INS, 232 F.3d 1159 (2000), we have a clear definition of what natural born citizenship is. Scales’ father was an American serviceman stationed in the Philippines where he met Scales’ mother. They married despite the fact that Scales’ mother was pregnant with him at the time. In all probability, the court said, Scales was a product of his mother’s previous relationship. However, he was born after Mr. Scales married his mother, and he was treated as Scales’ son. Later, Scales was facing deportation because of an aggravated felony involving drugs. He challenged his deportation saying he was a natural born citizen. The court determined that natural born citizenship depends on the statute in effect at the time of the child’s birth. Since Scales was born in 1977, he was a natural born citizen because a “person shall be a national and citizen of the United States at birth who is born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than ten years, at least five of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years.” Id. at 1169; see 8 U.S.C. §1401(a)(7) (1976). Therefore, Scales was a natural born citizen despite the following: having been born in a foreign country, having been born to a non-citizen, having his American father later deny paternity (and prove non-paternity), and having claimed to be a citizen of the Philippines. Sounds like it is difficult to get rid of natural born citizenship. Let’s examine Barack Obama’s citizenship.
I would first like to note that Scales v. INS, 232 F.3d 1159 (2000) is not exactly on point as neither of Soetoro/Obama’s parents were in the U.S. Military, however, it does outline some of the issues we present. Some more appropriate cases are United States of America v. Cervantes-Nava, 281 F.3d 501 (2002), Drozd v. I.N.S., 155 F.3d 81, 85-88 (2d Cir.1998), Solis-Espinoza v. Gonzales, 401 F.3d 1090 (9th Cir. 2005). And, if Ms. Freeze would have read and retained what is in our briefs, she would have seen the laws we used. We believe Soetoro/Obama was born in Kenya, contrary to Ms. Freeze’s beliefs, Soetoro/Obama’s mother was not old enough to confer U.S. “natural born” citizenship status to Soetoro/Obama. Moreover, neither of Soetoro/Obama’s parents were in the U.S. Military at the time of Soetoro/Obama’s birth, her whole argument above, which was meant to mislead people and which is very ignorant for a law student, does not pertain. Ms. Freeze also forgets to mention the Nationality Act was revised in 1986 with a proviso regarding active Military, the only part of the code that was retroactive was the Proviso regarding the Military Status, nothing else. But again, neither of Seotoro/Obama’s parents were in the U.S. Military. Moreover, contrary to Scales, Soetoro/Obama’s father admitted paternity, the parents were married in Hawaii prior to Soetoro/Obama’s birth. Ms. Freeze has done nothing more than attempt to misapply the laws. And, once again Ms. Freeze also fails to address the legal name of Soetoro/Obama and Soetoro/Obama’s Indonesian citizenship.
Obama’s citizenship will be determined under the 1952 version of the Immigration and Nationality Act since he was born in 1961 and the Act wasn’t updated again until 1966. According to § 301(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (66 Stat. 235), “a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person [is a natural born citizen].” According to § 305 of the same statute, any person born in Hawaii on or after April 30, 1900 was to be considered a natural born citizen. Obama’s mother was a citizen of the United States, and his father was a citizen of Kenya. They were married six months before Obama was born. There is no doubt that Obama’s mother resided in the United States or its possessions for at least one year prior to Obama’s birth. Therefore, Obama can’t be anything other than a natural born citizen. Combine this detail with his birth in an American State, you have a certified natural born citizen.
Ms. Freeze’s 1966 law fails and she completely contradicts herself. The law that is applied is the law in effect at the time of the birth, in Soetoro/Obama’s case, the Nationality Act of 1940 revised 1952. See Marquez-Marquez a/k/a Moreno v. Gonzales, 455 F. 3d 548 (5th Cir. 2006), Runnett v. Shultz, 901 F.2d 782, 783 (9th Cir.1990). Law in 1966 does not apply, unless Ms. Freeze can show me where it states it is retroactive, which she CANNOT. We are not disputing that Hawaii was a state, we are not disputing if in fact Soetoro/Obama was born in Hawaii he would be a U.S. “natural born” citizen. Further, Kenya is not an outlying possession of the U.S. The law used by Ms. Freeze once again does not pertain to the issues outlined in our cases; does not apply to Soetoro/Obama’s birth in Kenya; fails to address Soetoro/Obama’s legal name; and fails to address Soetoro/Obama’s Indonesian citizenship. Moreover, even if the 1966 version applied, which is does NOT, Soetoro/Obama’s mother was not present residing in the U.S. for a continuous year prior to Soetoro/Obama’s birth. We believe Soetoro/Obama’s mother was residing in Kenya and in fact gave birth to Soetoro/Obama in Kenya.
Important issues left out by Ms. Freeze in attempt to confuse the reader is the fact Soetoro/Obama became Barry Soetoro an Indonesian Citizenship. No records have been located legally changing Barry Soetoro’s name back to Barack H. Obama. No records have been located showing Soetoro/Obama relinquished his Indonesain citizenship, which was a requirement of Indonesia and outlined in their laws (Indonesia did not allow dual citizenship status) and reclaiming any U.S. citizenship status he may have once held. Thus, Soetoro/Obama is still Barry Soetoro an Indonesian Citizen.
One last question I have for Ms. Freeze, if in fact Soetoro/Obama was a U.S. “natural born” citizen and eligibile to serve as our United States President, why in the world would he spend in excess of a Million Dollars litigating these cases instead of just providing proof of his citizenship status? I’m curious to see how Ms. Freeze would respond. We know the answer, because Soetoro/Obama can’t.