The Phantom Birth Certificate

My doubts in this post have been retracted. Thanks for the lively discussion!

Whether or not Barack Obama has ever provided definitive proof that he is in fact a natural born United States citizen is up for debate, and rightly so: If he is not a natural born citizen, then he is a usurper to the office of President. Most of what I’ve read would seem to indicate that while there is certainly evidence of his having been born in Hawaii, his actual, original birth certificate has never been produced for the record.

I doubt the debate is going to go away anytime soon — it may even be discussed long after he leaves office. It’s already getting a bit old hearing about it (and you’re welcome for bringing it up here at KingdomGeek).

When I hired in at Walmart, I had to provide proof of who I was, that I was eligible to work in the United States. I’ve had a few jobs, and most of them have had that requirement. None of those that had the requirement would accept indirect proof; if they asked for a state identification, that is what I was required to present.

So why is it that a man can achieve the highest office in the land (and one of the most significant in the world) without providing a birth certificate to prove the conditions of his birth? Seems like the simplest thing in the world for the Democrats to do to shut Republicans up about the issue.

The whole thing reminds me of the Romans and the Jewish elite almost 2,000 years ago. They asserted that Jesus Christ was dead, gone, and that Christians were wholly misguided; some Jews, such as Paul, took to slaughtering Christians for their misguided ways.

Yet for all their actions, all their efforts against the claims of Christianity, they never did the one thing that would have forever shut them up: producing the body of Jesus Christ.

In the case of the Romans and Jews, they never produced the body because there was no body to produce. Jesus had come back from the dead, conquering the grave and eventually ascending body and all to Heaven.

So what about it, Democrats? Is there a valid birth certificate for the Obamessiah? Just produce it already, shutting up the naysayers, at least so far as that issue is concerned.

Oh, but wait, a birth certificate has been produced — and I say “produced” knowing that it either means they have presented the certificate as evidence or they manufactured it. It isn’t a secret that liberals tend to manufacture so-called evidence often enough, especially if such “evidence” sticks it to the Christians; you may remember the tomb of Jesus hoax from just two years ago, or perhaps the Piltdown Man would be a more recognizable hoax — chances are good you were taught it as fact in your science classes.

Is This a Legitimate Copy of Obama’s Birth Certificate?
Is This a Legitimate Copy of Obama’s Birth Certificate?

I found this image of a possible Barack Obama birth certificate on PolitiFact. Is this a genuine birth certificate or just another Piltdown Man?

Curious, I looked up Hawaiian birth certificates on Flickr, and sure enough, there have been several photographs shared of such certificates. Two of which were obvious fakes — one for John McCain, who was not born in Hawaii, and another done up for someone’s dog, I think.

Is it strange that the obvious fakes have more of a resemblance to Obama’s than do genuine certificates, such as Alamokihana Hookano’s?

Granted, I only have the image of the supposed birth certificate to go by — a copy of a copy — and it’s obviously been altered — the certificate number has been censored — despite the declaration at the bottom that alterations render the copy invalid.

Even ignoring the self-invalidation of what has been presented as evidence, the image bears none of the marks of being a legitimate birth certificate… It shows no signs of ever having been handled — no folds, no creases… And it bears no evidence of having been stamped or embossed on its reverse side, even though this is visible on the legitimate certificates such as Hookano’s.

Maybe it’s a legitimate birth certificate — every Obamapologist and Obamacolyte viewing this will no doubt say it is — but I don’t think dismissing a self-invalidating copy of a copy is too unreasonable, nor is hoping that a long form birth certificate (the above copy of a copy is of what is known as a “short form” certificate) with an official stamp or seal (or better, the original) is released for examination.

79 thoughts on “The Phantom Birth Certificate”

  1. Thesis Customer

    You need to make a decision on whether your blog will focus on Thesis and the goodwill you have generated from your valuable advice and participation or whether your blog will focus on undereducated Crazy Christian conspiracies.

    You are in danger in torpedoing your reputation in the tech world with idiotic posts like the one above. One more post like this one and you are gone from my RSS reader.

    Does Chris Pearson believe this crap as well?

    1. Of my five most recent posts, only one was about Thesis. Of my 944 posts, I’d be surprised if even 44 were about Thesis. Likewise, my tagline is “…on Theology and Other Stuff,” not “Thesis and Nothing Else.”

      Chris and I share a common vision for Thesis, but what he posts at Pearsonified and what I post here at KingdomGeek are our own ideas. Please visit my Disclaimers page for clarification.

      If you want to subscribe to just my blogging news and tips and whatever, then use the appropriate feed; it’s mostly free from my sociopolitical rants, journal entries, and theological musings. ;)

  2. Obama’s birth record was mentioned at CPAC(video) When Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid questioned whether Obama was born in the US, the crowd broke into applause. Obama supporters and a few conservatives have tried to degrade Americans who believe it is important to see Barack Obama’s original birth record. They have labeled this group as “birthers” and called them a fringe group. Based on the applause to Cliff Kincaid’s statement, this group is a lot more mainstream than they would like to admit.

  3. I’ve been waiting so long for a post that wasn’t geeky, but now I have no comment. You know my opinion on President Obama.

  4. If you want to maintain your credibility and perceived sanity from your readers then I strongly recommend you delete your post. What kind of craziness do you subscribe to? This is lunatic fringe stuff. Your technical prowess with Thesis is appreciated. Your wildly debunked claims about Obama are embarrassing. Good Lord man you are destroying your reputation with these lies.

    1. Your concerns are noted, but reputation isn’t something I’m particularly worried about. Feel free to browse through the 900+ posts here, and you’ll find plenty that will wreck your opinion of me. I’ve never shied away from writing what I believe, regardless of who or what group I offend.

      1. OK Rick……but……reputation does matter. If someone has a reputation as a drunk, being promiscuous, a thief, a liar, a cheat, a fraud, etc, etc, then it will haunt them and negatively impact their lives. On the other hand if someone has the reputation of being kind, generous, thoughtful, intelligent, charitable, funny, charming, etc, etc, etc, then it will positively impact their lives.

        Some of the fringe Obama paranoia you’re writing about is up there with Tom Cruise and his outlandish ideas wrought from Scientology.

        Your views are your own right or wrong…..but…..reputation is important.

        All the best to you sir,
        Tom K.

        1. Again, your concerns are noted, and thank you for them; if somehow this post harms my reputation, so be it, but I would be dishonest (and miss a great blog post and comments discussion) if I didn’t post even my “fringe” ideas.

          I made this blog post not to win points with anyone but to add my small voice to those who would like the debate settled once and for all — not by appealing to authority, which doesn’t really prove anything, but by producing the firsthand evidence itself.

          Maybe it’ll never surface. I know that’s a very real possibility, and I’m not fool enough to think that actually proves anything. However, it does leave leave that one aspect of Obama’s life and career shrouded in mystery, at the very least for some of those who are already convinced his ascent to power is a “sign of the times,” so to speak.

          The post was made simply to give people something to think about if they want or to respond to the concerns I have with the short-form certificate which was released. Sure, that may not have happened too much yet, but I still had fun writing it. That’s something, right? :D

          1. These threaded comments are terrific. Posting issues such as this do get things rocking. You’re getting a lot of very interesting comments. That’s always a very good thing.

            With respect,
            Tom K.

  5. A question for Tom K. and the Thesis shopper, who are so solicitous of their host’s reputation: Why do you think Obama is so reluctant to release the original document? He’s gone to great lengths to conceal it, after all. What would be the likeliest reason for that, in your opinion?

    1. This insane topic ranks up there with nutty claims that American’s landing on the moon never happened. It was all staged in a studio. Or……the World Trade center being destroyed was an inside job and were in fact blow up with bombs inside the structures and those pesky jets that were filmed and witnessed by untold amounts of people had nothing to do with the towers falling. It’s all whack job conspiracy theory madness.

      Politico did an article about this today:

      Here is a snippet from the article.

      A quick reality check, before we dive in: The challenges to Obama’s eligibility have no grounding in evidence. Courts across the country have summarily rejected the movement’s theory — that Obama can’t be a citizen because his father wasn’t —as a misreading of U.S. law; and Hawaii officials, along with contemporary birth announcements, affirm that Obama was in fact born in Honolulu in 1961.

      But belief in obscure, discredited theories is a constant in a country with a history of partisan division — a country in which, a recent survey showed, 34 percent of the public believes in UFOs and 24 percent believes in witches..

      1. I’ve heard some interesting things about the 9/11 attacks, but I believe ’em about as much as I believe a Michael Moore flick. Still, you’ve misrepresented the “fringe” view; people don’t believe that the jets had nothing to do with the towers falling. On the contrary, they believe that the government knew enough in advance about the attacks to rig the towers to explode and collapse completely, or something to that effect. Hard to browse YouTube at all without coming across some video that starts off innocently enough only to turn into a 9/11 conspiracy — it’s worse than the Rick Roll!

      2. Hawaii officials, along with contemporary birth announcements, affirm that Obama was in fact born in Honolulu in 1961.

        Two points here.

        1) A newspaper birth announcement is about as useful as bronzed booties for verifying the circumstances of the O’s birth.

        2) No Hawaiian official has gone beyond confirming the existence of the document. The meme that an official someone has confirmed O’s birth in Honolulu starts with an AP claim that is found nowhere in their original reporting of the “sealed” announcement. See if you can find the name of the Hawaiian official verifying a Hawaiian birth. You won’t be able to. Had you followed the story, you’d know that a Hawaiian birth certificate can be filed by people born elsewhere — in Kenya, say.

        Now, back to the question. Why is it that Obama will not release the original birth certificate? Just your opinion. I’m sure you have an opinion.

          1. LOL No, no. You’re unclear on the concept here. You’re the one claiming that a Honolulu birth has been officially confirmed. Source it.

            1. Hey, Luke. I did some searching on my own and found this article which does cite by name a Hawaiian official, but I’m unconvinced that is enough. The Roman Catholic Church has billions tricked into thinking it’s a Christian institution, so I don’t find it far fetched at all that a document can be produced that is able to dupe a Hawaiian official. Most notable was that the article did not mention that he verified the short-form certificate against the original.

              What’s the point of maintaining original birth certificates if they aren’t used for anything, especially something on the scale of verifying one’s eligibility for the highest office in the land.

              1. 1) You’re right to be unconvinced. Dr. Fukino verifies the existence of the original document and explains why she cannot presently release it. She does not say anything about the “certified” information, including the place of birth. She probably can’t, without permission, even if the vault copy says “Honolulu, dammit!” But this appears to be the statement on which the claim of an officially confirmed Hawaiian birth is always based.

                2) Hey, watch it. I’m Catholic.

                1. Exactly my point. The entire defense of his being a native born American is based on nothing more than second or third-hand sources.

                  I’ve debated with a fair few liberals on a variety of issues, and I notice they are always quick to demand firsthand evidence of claims, so the want of firsthand evidence is by no means an unreasonable desire.

                  I also notice liberals who I’ve debated often make question just what it would take for me to give up my faith, just what evidence would be required, to which I often responded that it would require the body of Jesus of Nazareth to be discovered and conclusively proven to be valid (this because Paul declared the foundation of all Christian belief to be the resurrection of Christ). And here again, in order to be convinced of Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as President, all I’d like is firsthand evidence to be presented.

                  I’m throwing the liberals a bone here — a piece of paper less than half a century old is far easier to produce than a nearly 2,000 year old body (especially considering it is today in Heaven, not in some tomb waiting for Indiana Jones or Lara Croft to stumble upon it).

                1. “Judge not lest ye be judged” refers to hypocritical judgment (elsewhere, Jesus and numerous others encourage and demand discernment and judgment of what is right and wrong); I base my opinion on the Catholic Church on firsthand comparison of the Catechism and the Scriptures, and I welcome Catholics to hold me to that exact same standard, if they so choose.

                    1. Which part? The part about judging being okay, so long as it is not rash or hypocritical? That would be the historical understanding of the verse… (If we’re supposed to worship in spirit and in truth, then implied is that we are to judge what is not spirit and what is not truth so that we can avoid them.) Even the Catholic Church judges, which is inherit in the Catechism’s affirmation that salvation is found only within the Church, which implies that Protestants, Eastern Orthodox members, and so on are outside the sphere of salvation.

              1. Sorry, you’re now saying that you’ve found Hawaiian officials’ confirmation of Obama’s birth in Hawaii? Please explain, so that we can settle the “natural born citizen” issue once and for all.

                  1. So, to sum up, we have no original birth certificate publicly available and won’t have one without Obama’s permission or a court order. We have the COLB, first published, I think, on Kos, that very model of non-partisanship. Whether the COLB is forged is disputed, but it’s not clear that it would be dispositive, even if authentic. Officials of the State of Hawaii have confirmed that an original birth certificate exists but have said nothing about its contents. We know that it is possible to be born elswhere and still have a birth certificate on file in Hawaii. What’s so frakkin complicated? We won’t know where this clown was born until he releases his birth certificate or someone with the requisite legal standing (Military? State official?) forces him to release it.

  6. Hi Rick

    I got a kick out of these replies. It truly is sad how many people willingly take our constitution to the shredder. There is exactly three qualifications for someone to be president of the United States.

    35 years old
    have lived here for the past 14 years
    natural born citizen of the US

    I think at the VERY LEAST is not too much to ask for verification of these three qualifications.

    ALSO men and women have and will continue to die for peoples right to voice and opinion. I suggest taking some time to read our constitution, YOUR life as you know it DEPENDS on it!


    1. From the Politico article:

      The conservative talk show host (and Born Again Christian) Michael Medved recently referred to the movement’s leaders as “crazy, nutburger, demagogue, money-hungry, exploitative, irresponsible, filthy conservative imposters” who are “the worst enemy of the conservative movement.”

      “It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company,” he mourned.

      Medved makes a good point. The nuttier the Obama haters sound the better it is for Obama.

      Keep the flames burning folks. The President of the United States of America Barack Obama loves this stuff. :)

      1. Michael Medved is not a born again Christian, he is a Jew.

        Again, the attempt to generalize conservatives.

        And by the way, Medved is no conservative.

  7. Good job man! When the “intelligencia” starts threatening you with the lose of your “credibility”, you know you are on to something. See, there’s a genuine interest in suppressing news among some.

    But the point is valid: Just produce the document (I know where mine is, why doesn’t he?) and everyone will have to shut up about it. Keep stonewalling, and you keep the “story” going.

    Well done and well said.

    1. That’s the point. President of the United States of America Obama and his team want to story to keep going. It’s makes the opposition (ie the Republican party) look like a bunch of nut cases…..thus drowning out any “normal” ideas the party may have.

      Keep the fire burning……….please. :)

    1. Not sure who you’re talking about, but if you are talking about me, then I’m not sure how faith in Jesus Christ is even “religion,” let alone a veil. One cannot boast in Christ and be full of vanity; it’s a contradiction of states.

  8. Your arguments on this Birth Cert are wingnutia.

    Multiple fact check organizations have sent teams to Hawaii to see the original document, including right wing groups. They all came away believing they saw the genuine article. Wikipedia did a good job consolidating those studies. You don’t have to believe Wikipedia though, because Wikipedia has all the links to all the groups that actually looked into this.

    Plus, the local newspaper had a birth announcement for the Barack baby. Forging this document, on microfilm at NUMEROUS Hawaiian libraries would be near impossible to get away with.

    Could this birth announcement have been put in the Hawaiian paper from Kenya. Yeah, it could. But that would mean that the conspiracy to put Barack in the White House preceded his birth.

    No, the only reason this story continues to generate blog posts is because the wing nuts are everywhere. This is sad because from reading a number of posts above, Rick Beckman once had a degree of credibility.

    The tin foil hats are everywhere these days.

    1. Could you point to *any* source that says the original birth certificate has been viewed by anyone? Everything I’ve read — on Wikipedia or elsewhere — states that the original birth certificate is sealed and that no one can view it unless the O himself, his family, or the like say it’s okay, which they have not. Instead, they have given us a short-form duplicate that not only lacks any sort of official stamp or seal (which would be the hard part of forge, I would think), but doesn’t even have a certificate number viewable for further investigation.

      I look forward to your sources that say the original birth certificate has been viewed by all these different fact checking groups; I’d hate to think that you’d be the one to lose credibility by making up stuff in defense of the O. ;)

  9. Rick,

    I have no interest in debating this with you. I have nothing to prove to you or anyone else. You are the one with a nutty contention.

    When you come up with an explanation for why the local newspaper in Hawaii printed a birth announcement for a baby boy born to the Obama’s by the name of Barack Hussien, then I’ll consider wasting my time on this.

    1. A local newspaper mentioned the birth because someone wanted it mentioned — as has been mentioned elsewhere, you don’t have to be born in Honolulu to have your birth announced.

      Similarly, in my local newspaper, I see announcements all the time — weddings, anniversaries, deaths, what-have-you — for events that happened elsewhere but which had reason (local ties, prominent citizen, whatever) to be announced in the local paper.

      Regardless of all of that, you could at least admit your mistakes in your initial post regarding the multiple agencies verifying the original birth certificate, events which you claimed to have been verifiable on Wikipedia; absolutely none of it was true (and that really is verifiable on Wikipedia), so why not admit you were wrong and learn from the mistake? No reason to run from it. After all, we’re all friends here.

  10. Re mark’s arguments

    1) The Wikipedia article on “Obama Citizenship Conspiracy Theories” mentions FactCheck’s viewing of the COLB, but nowhere claims that “multiple” organizations, nor any investigator at all, have seen the original birth certificate. Rick has already noted this, I see.

    2) The only birth announcement I’d been aware of was in the Advertiser, but evidently an identical announcement appeared in the Star-Bulletin. These items, which do not include place of birth, would have been provided by the Health Department. In Hawaii, in 1961 — per some investigative work by a PUMA activist, bless her, who seems to have done her job months before the MSM deigned to do theirs — the papers received information weekly direct from the state agency. In other words, these were not paid announcements of the type more common now, and probably more common in 1961. There was a birth certificate on file within a few days of the Incarnation. However, according to current Hawaiian law, a birth certificate can be completed, or at least “substantially” completed by “any person having knowledge of the birth” … like a proud new grandparent, or one worried about an illegitimate birth or future custody issues. I do not know, nor have I been able to google up, info on what the law was in 1961, but my hunch is that its provisions were even more casual fifty years ago, before we all hated each other, and my hunch is stronger for not having seen any evidence in the sinistrosphere of the law’s having changed.

    In short, there’s nothing that’s been said by the Oid contingent that makes me wonder any less about the reasons for the suppression of the birth certificate.

  11. “suppression”?

    I recently went to get a copy of my birth certificate for legal reasons. I went to the town hall and watched from the counter as the clerk photocopied my original. I guess it was my original. She then sent that computer document to a dedicated printer that had fancy paper in it, she then embossed it with some official seal, she then stamped signatures on it and put it in an envelope and gave it to me. I paid my fee.
    That birth certificate is legal in all states for all purposes. Barack’s birth certificate that is available online is an example of that type certificate. It is a legal document. The only people who question the legitimacy of this document are the ones who wear tin hats. The state of Hawaii requires that anyone who wants to see the original can if they have a legitimate reason. Apparently, pleasing the tin hat crowd does not meet that criteria. I say good for them because I’m sure seeing it won’t be enough. Next you’ll want the videotape of the birth itself.

    This issue has been taken up by the US Supreme Court who have found your case wanting. Our Constitution has provisions for a controversial Presidential election. In Gore v Bush, the Supremes decided to ignore the Constitution and create a new procedure. I find that case “wanting”. But what I find, just as what you wonder about, is irrelevant.


    1. You’ll note that the so-called Obama birth certificate has no official seal or embossing of any kind. On similar Hawaiian short-form certificates available on Flickr, the seal is clearly visible, slightly bleeding through from the back side.

      Obama’s short form lacks the stamp, which adds to my distrust of the document. As it is, anyone with some fancy stationery could print the thing up. Obviously, not just anyone would be able to seal it… which is my point, I guess.

  12. So long. But if you do come up with a good reason for suppressing the birth certificate, please come back and tell us.

  13. According to, the short form they examined is embossed and matchs the birth certs from the time period.

    You cite Flickr? Seriously? You cite Flickr?

    I did a quick internet search and found dozens of pics that had the embossed seal on the so called — entirely legal — short form.

    I can’t believe I keep coming back to this whacko site.

    1. Could you link to a picture of the short-form that clearly reveals the seal? The picture in the post above doesn’t reveal a seal anywhere that I can see, and I got it from a fact-checking site.

      Also, I fail to see how it would match forms from the time period of his birth… It’s clearly a 2001 form (November of 2001, actually, based on the revision date in the fine print.)

      And I cite Flickr because I don’t really have any other sources for people’s birth certificates; I go there, and plenty of people have posted pics of their Hawaiian short forms to prove how similar they are to Obama’s to shut up people like me. Problem is, I view theirs and I see signs of handling, official seals, and so on… I view Obama’s, and I see none of that — no seal, no certificate number, no nothing that can actually tie this short-form to an original Hawaiian birth certificate.

  14. Yes, yes. We’re all whackos, but why do you think Obama refuses to release the original, long-form? Tim K. seems to think Obama is playing a very deep game. So long as the birth certificate is suppressed, Tim K. and the like-minded will be able to scream “whacko” and “tin foil” on the blogs, and this will be good for the economy, or something. But this is too subtle for me. Seems like there ought to be a simpler explanation for why we’re not permitted to know the actual circumstances of the Obama’s earthly provenance. What do you think that reason might be?

    1. Rick

      I’m not much inclined to credit Polarik’s analysis. I don’t have anything like the expertise required to render a verdict, but reliable rightwing extremists like Strata and Charles Johnson, who do know what they’re talking about, have been unimpressed with the Polarik version. What is most striking to me about the COLB is that, even if authentic, it’s wonderfully uninformative. Hawaiian law affords a number of convenient ways for an interested party to alter the information on a birth certificate, or even to receive a new one, and the COLB will contain the altered information without, as near as I can tell, any indication that the information has a history of changes. The “vault” documentation, on the other hand, would contain all the original information as well as the alterations and the source of the alterations. That, to me, is why the COLB is garbage and the Temple of Doom should be opened. And note that no vast conspiracy is required here. Just following a Health Department drill, with perhaps some fudging, would have gotten Obama or another family member a “better” birth certificate, at any point, presumably, in the period 1961-2007.

  15. Rick,

    I’m sure you’re a nice guy, and God knows you’re smart, but this is nonsense.

    First, you’re wrong. Second, even if you’re right, you’ll never be able to prove it. Third, even if you can, what then?

    Also, your post suggesting that “the difference” between Obama’s critics and supporters amounts to a willingness to be civil and stick to the facts is patently ridiculous. I mean, think about this. You’re deploring ad hominem attacks at the same time that you’re ascribing their use only to people you disagree with. You must know that this is hypocritical asinine.

    You have every right to your opinions and every right to share them. I mean, you support WP and Thesis for a living, and what could be more democratic than blogging? But honestly, I’ve got to believe that you have better things to do with your time. I’m sure you’ll have a lot more luck convincing people that Catholics aren’t Christians (not an opinion I share, but whatever) than convincing people to question the veracity of Barack Obama’s hold on the American experience.

    Let me end with a question. Do you believe that these rumors would be going strong if Obama was a white man with a boring name? I don’t think that you’re a racist, and don’t mean to imply anything to that effect. But there are many people in the Truther movement that make no bones about being just that. To them, raising questions about Obama’s birth is just one more way to divide our country, showing that he isn’t one of US. Do you agree, and if so, does this bother you?

    And once again, what IS the point of all this?

    Mark Settle

    1. Do you believe that these rumors would be going strong if Obama was a white man with a boring name?

      Shoot, I think McCain has been a defendant in some of the “birther” court cases, having been born in Panama. He’s pretty white, although “McCain” isn’t really that boring a name.

      Oh, and, btw, if Obama had been a white man with a boring name, extensive Left affiliations, and no executive experience, Hillary Clinton would be president.

    2. Mark, thank you for your courteous questions.

      I may never know for sure whether I am right or wrong about this issue; I’m not after that sort of validation, though, as I made the post simply to get people to think, to question, and to basically not be so accepting of what the media may be saying. Yeah, I know, I’m such a rebel. lol. However, if all the proof we have is the short-form certificate pictured in the post above, then I am content in considering it not a viable proof for Obama’s being native born. I go over these reasons in another comment on this page.

      It has nothing to do with the color of his skin. I have advocated (on a small-scale… I don’t exactly have a loud voice with a long reach) the same thing men like Morgan Freeman advocate: there is no white or black man… there is just man. That is the biblical truth, and no one can convince me otherwise. I hate racism and find it to be a cancer in the hearts of far too many. I know how easy it is, when criticizing someone of a different color (especially if they’ve just achieved a major historical first), to be accused of being racist. However, if I let the fear of being accused dissuade me from speaking my mind on issues that bother me, then I am doing nobody any good, least of all myself.

      Also, I have tried hard to abstain from ad hominem fallacies. There is a difference between pointing out the behavior of people in a strictly observational context and in using those behaviors as argument against them. To use ridicule as an argument against someone’s position does not further the discussion in any way.

      It doesn’t bug me that the best defense of Obama some people can come up with is by likening me to the conspiracy theorists, right-wing pundits, or whoever else; I’ll keep writing in defense of my observations despite them. However, there’s nothing stopping me from taking a step back and pointing out the difference between the pro-Obama and anti-Obama crowds as they have manifested themselves in these comments, and I only did so to point out that the stereotypes so often advanced by pro-Obama fans, the media, and so on are, in this real world example, dead wrong.

      I’m not really sure what the point of all this is. Maybe I’m just hoping that someday, Obama or his fans would attempt to give people like me reason to vote for him; as it is, it’s pretty clear that they not only don’t want my vote, but would sooner spit on me than to encourage me to think critically about things — even in a public arena where my thoughts are laid bare for anyone to critique.

      Or maybe I want the birth certificate issue to be resolved definitively so that those who would question it would shut up about it, myself included. :)

      Or maybe the point of it was to attract new people to KingdomGeek and get some interesting conversations going… *diabolical laughter* (Hey, at least this point actually worked, whether or not I intended it!)

      Thanks for the comment/questions!

    3. Re Mark S’s questions

      First, you’re wrong. Second, even if you’re right, you’ll never be able to prove it. Third, even if you can, what then?

      May I be so bold?

      First, I’ve never claimed that Obama was born in Kenya, but I do claim that the information he’s provided thus far is insufficient to prove “natural born” citizenship. If you think that the online COLB, with its tenuous connection to the birth information available in 1961, proves beyond reasonable doubt that Obama does qualify, then I’d have to say you’re wrong. Btw, have you said yet why you think Obama refuses to release the real deal?

      Second, no proof of Obama’s eligibility either way is possible without the original birth certificate. If I’d claimed that I knew for sure that Obama was born in Kenya, and if the original birth certificate showed he was born in Kenya, it seems to me I would have been vindicated, don’t you think?

      Third, if it does turn out that Obama fails the eligibility test (we’ll know sooner or later), among the many things I don’t expect to accomplish is removing him from office. It is difficult for me to conceive of birth info so constitutionally inconvenient that a compliant Congress cannot arrange a fix (which is a reason for Obama to get squared away soon, come to think of it). For example, even if born to a minor in Kenya, Obama is a “birth citizen” by 1992, at the latest, per retroactive changes to immigration law. Congress can simply declare that, because “natural born” citizenship is such an ambiguous term, “birth citizenship” is its equivalent for purposes of eligibility. Congress has acted before now to define vague language in the Constitution, and the courts have given them a pass.

      What I do hope to accomplish with the publication of the required records is to embarrass Obama politically. I consider him a threat to my country. That he has suppressed reams of information to which voters are customarily, and sometimes legally, entitled suggests to me that he’s hiding information that contradicts the life story that sold him to the electorate. I’d like to get that contradictory information out there. There are some lies that he will have difficulty denying, even with the wholly owned media on his side.

      1. @lukemcgook, you asked why it is that Obama hasn’t released his records yet, and then wrote, “What I do hope to accomplish with the publication of the required records is to embarrass Obama politically. I consider him a threat to my country. That he has suppressed reams of information to which voters are customarily, and sometimes legally, entitled suggests to me that he’s hiding information that contradicts the life story that sold him to the electorate. I’d like to get that contradictory information out there. There are some lies that he will have difficulty denying, even with the wholly owned media on his side.”

        I think that your expostion answers your first question. Most of the people concerning themselves with questions about Obama’s natural born citizenship, people who remain unsatisfied with Obama’s credentials as a United States citizen, don’t seem to be on the fence about who they (don’t) support.

        Will those who are currently unsatisfied ever be satisfied? Should Obama release a copy of the long-form document? Should he make the original available for a couple hours to that most-hated collective, the MSM? Should he place it under bullet-proof glass in the lobby of the National Archives? Let’s get answers to such questions so that the goalposts don’t keep moving.

        Your answer to my second question amounts to a difference of opinion between you and I about the weight of the current evidence. I can’t imagine a scenario wherein the state of Hawaii would have created a birth certificate for a birth that did not occur in Hawaii; you can. It seems wholly unlikely that the local paper would have published an announcement for the birth of one Barack Hussein Obama, if he hadn’t been born there; not to you.

        Obama has nothing to lose by releasing further information, but he has everything to gain. This is a game of rope-a-dope. He reduces people like you and Rick, rightly or wrongly, to the lunatic fringe. He ignores the issue, allowing it to simmer at a low burn, for the same reason that Sarah Palin never conclusively addressed rumors that Trig was not actually hers. Rightly or wrongly, it makes those asking the question look like nutjobs. The idea that Obama is constitutionally unfit for office is so ridiculous to so much of the American electorate that those pushing the idea come across as utter crackpots. Instead of galvanizing opposition to his policies, you and others are discussing the finer points of Hawaiian birth certificate validation. Yes, yes, I know. The courage of your convictions and all that. But a right to say what you think doesn’t equal a right to be listened to. I suppose it’s possible that you’re right on substance, but that’s not what matters. What matters is that you’re marginalizing yourself. In so doing, you’re playing directly into Obama’s hands. Such glancing attacks make him stronger.

        So once again, what is the point of all this?

        1. Mark Settle

          Thanks for the warning, but I think I’ll continue on my feckless course of roped dopiness. People don’t care for liars, nor for public officials who waste government time and taxpayer money merely to mess with the heads of divisive rightwing extremists like myself. The upside returns to your hypothetical stunt are diminishing rapidly. And, as I’ve already noted, this strategy would have been extremely risky during the campaign. Obama could never count on the total subservience of the media, so there was always the chance of a CNN reporter, say, getting a wild hair and starting a story with, “Sen. Barack Obama, whose campaign has refused to release his birth certificate to reporters for over four months now …” I’m not even sure the issue constitutes an effective distraction. Back in the time of Dan Rather’s “false but true” National Guard reporting, believed by some on the Left to be a sinister Rovian set-up, I don’t recall Bushie McHitler getting much relief on other fronts.

          The Palin-Obama comparison is bogus, most obviously because the circumstances of Trig’s birth do not bear on Palin’s legal eligibility for office, while the circumstances of Baby O’s birth do bear on his eligibility.

          Hawaii issues birth certificates to people born elsewhere all the time, one of the fine points it may behoove you to acquaint yourself with.

          And, say, that was a pretty long post you made there. Shouldn’t you be spending your free time helping our president remake America, instead of fencing with lunatics on a minor blog — a very interesting blog, I might add, although, sadly, one that no one will ever again read, Rick having hopelessly compromised his reputation.

          1. @lukemcgook, you make some valid points but fail to address my larger point, which is this. This kind of argument gets no one no where, except for Obama himself (not that I’m complaining). Birth certificate questions bring a lot of heat, but no light.

  16. Christianity has a great tradition of self-criticism and analysis. This tradition has enriched the intellectual environment for the entire world. The history makes it all the more troubling to see many modern-day, self-proclaimed Christians engaged in such patently ignorant and intellectually weak excersizes.

    To meet legal requirements, one never has to produce an *original* certification–of anything. From deeds, to drivers licenses, to social security cards, to yes, even birth certificates, all that is required is a certification *of any date* from the appropriate agency which they say is correct according to their records.

    With even a small amount of self-reflection, the current perpetrators of this Obama birth certificate myth would see that they are clearly engaged not in fact-finding but in wish-fulfillment: they don’t want Obama as their president, therefore in their minds he can’t be the president. Any weak fiction will do to hang their wish on. Were they instead to consider the facts, this would be readily apparent: the appropriate agency has looked at its records and produced a correct and current certification of Obama’s birth. The “original” is irrelevant, as legally any current certification is just as valid.

    As for whether you or someone you know has had the opportunity to see the birth certificate–well, I’ve never been to the moon either, yet I trust it’s not made of cheese. Obama was born to an American citizen in an American state and he has shown the documentation to prove it. He is an American citizen. Case closed.

    1. Brian

      Are you familiar with Article Two, Section 1 of the Constitution? Needless to say, there are people eligible for drivers licenses who are not eligible for the presidency. Since only the original birth documentation will be dispositive, why is it that Obama won’t release the information? Just your opinion.

      Is it the fee, do you suppose? Some sort of economy measure?

      1. Are you familiar with the concept of unsupported assertions? Your assertion that “only the original birth documentation will be dispositive” is unsupported and false. All properly executed certifications from the appropriate authority are of equal legal weight. Only when there has been additional activity on the offical records (e.g change in title for a piece of property) would one certification be more relevant than the other–in that case it would be the more recent certification which would carry more weight.

        I wouldn’t say for sure I could guess the reason for Obama not releasing more information to satisfy your remaining questions. In a day when even Bill Gates can have his identity stolen, maybe Obama considers it a bad idea to put more personal information out there? Maybe he suspects some people wil never be satisfied? :) Regardless, with the information he’s released so far he’s met the legal requirements and quenched doubts in the minds of most if not all.

        1. Re Mark’s above
          Only when there has been additional activity on the offical records (e.g change in title for a piece of property) would one certification be more relevant than the other–in that case it would be the more recent certification which would carry more weight.

          Precisely. We’d like to see the original and then weigh the implications of any “additional changes” ourselves.

          In a day when even Bill Gates can have his identity stolen, maybe Obama considers it a bad idea to put more personal information out there?

          Sure. And that’s why he’s suppressed his academic and medical records, too. Can’t be too careful.

          Note that you’re claiming that FactCheck’s privileged viewing of the COLB suffices to prove “natural born” citizenship, but that letting reporters view the birth certificate would put Obama’s credit cards at risk.

          Care to try again?

          … with the information he’s released so far he’s met the legal requirements and quenched doubts in the minds of most if not all.

          Au contraire, we’re claiming that a document as sparsely informative and as mutable as the COLB, even if genuine, is insufficient for constitutional purposes. No court has said differently. More minds, if not all, are becoming aware of the difficulties with the birth certificate, and with Obama’s history in general. I figure the MSM will have to address these difficulties honestly, sooner or later, if only to sell papers.

          1. We’d like to see the original and then weigh the implications of any “additional changes” [sic] ourselves.

            As I noted above, the more recent certification carries more weight in that circumstance–the issuing agency has the authority to say what activity is or is not valid and they put it on their certification. The agency is presumed to be correct until proven otherwise. You keep insisting that the burden is on Obama or those who don’t question the birth certificate to answer your questions after they have already met the legal standard. In fact it’s just the opposite: the burden is on you to show in a court of law, not the court of public opinion, that the issuing agency was incorrect.

            But as shown in a previous comment, your main concern is not in actually winning the case in court, it’s in scoring political points (for the good of the country of course!).

            You say that you are claiming the document is insufficient for Constitutional purposes, a claim that no court denies–nor supports. In fact the only court to hear these claims dismissed the case (using words like “frivolous” and “not worthy of discussion”) as the person who brought it had no standing. Note that one of the persons who did have standing, John McCain, chose to let the opportunity pass. Why do you suppose that was? Was he scared of looking like a fool? Or maybe it was the filing fee? :))

            1. re Brian’s legal eagle remarks above

              Let’s be clear on what you’re saying here: Obama is a natural born citizen so long as he can legally obstruct all efforts to show otherwise. With that caveat in mind, let us see what the odds are of his being able to do that, and let’s take the Aloha State, where some of the “birther” suits have been filed, for our example.

              Per Section 338-17 of the current statutes

              Late or altered certificate as evidence. The probative value of a “late” or “altered” certificate shall be determined by the judicial or administrative body or official before whom the certificate is offered as evidence.

              Seems to be the judge’s call. Now, the original birth certificate would indeed be prima facie evidence for the events described (of course, we’re not allowed to see the original), but, if the COLB contains altered information, it would seem to fall into a weaker category of evidence and leave a constitutionally picky judge the option of unearthing the vault copy to decide the merits of the case. In any case, all is not so cut and dry as you seem to think.

              And, in any case, the lawsuits will keep on coming, and the disgruntled murmurring will increase. And McCain, who declined to use any number of legitimate issues handed him by the Obama campaign, and whose standing, as you’ve noted, seems undeniable, may one day get mad enough …

              1. Let’s be clear on what you’re saying here: Obama is a natural born citizen so long as he can legally obstruct all efforts to show otherwise.

                Nonsense. Obama has shown he is a natural born citizen with the proper certification from the appropriate agency. The agency’s certification is presumed correct unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

                The rest of your comment operates on an unproven assumption that the certificate presented differs from the records the agency keeps. You have shown no evidence of this and so your speculation carries no weight. I wouldn’t be so harsh as to call your opinion “frivolous”, but I also don’t blame the one judge who has been confronted with such theories for saying so.

                So the lawsuits will keep coming until you find the “right” judge, eh? I guess that’s one way to get there. Keep us posted as to how it turns out.

                1. Re Brian’s “nonsense” post

                  A few points

                  1) The burden of proof of constitutional eligiblity is on Obama here. You do not claim “natural born” citizenship and then maintain that, by obstructing efforts to verify the claim, you have made your case. This is equivalent to applying for a drivers license and then, when asked for your birth certificate, replying “Prove I’m not a citizen,” and adducing the DMV’s inability to do so as proof of your citizenship.

                  2) As for the COLB’s being presumed correct, note that

                  a) The COLB is not even presumed correct by all Hawaii’s state agencies. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands insists on the birth certificate itself, presumably because the COLB does not show the history of any suspicious alterations to the information, or because it is more easily forged.

                  b) You have described a Catch-22. We can’t see the birth certificate unless we show that the COLB contains altered information, and we can’t show that the COLB contains altered information without seeing the birth certificate.

                  To repeat, you have not shown that Obama has satisfied the Article 2 requirements; you have shown only that he has so far managed to obstruct efforts to settle the issue, which we knew.

                  For those relatively new to this fiasco, here’s one of those endless freeper threads that mixes wild conspiracy theorizing with interesting material. One claim new to me is that the residences of the Dunhams and of Obama Daddy can both be located in August 1961. Neither is at 6085 Kalanianaole Hwy, the address in the birth announcement. Of course, the head of a bank’s escrow department would know the addresses of vacant houses. The thread also provides a good introduction to the general oddness of Obama’s family, at least on the mother’s side.

                  1. And, lest we forget, the most curious fact of all is that the birth certificate and any history of alterations, facsimiles of which documents are presumably in the hands of Obama’s campaign (see FactCheck on their June 2007 document collection effort), was suppressed during the campaign and is still being suppressed. Recall that the “born in Kenya” rumors erupted on the blogs in June or July, even before the nomination was a dead cert. That the campaign chose not to end all the speculation by releasing the birth certificate suggests that the birth certificate contains information with an enormous downside.

    2. Thanks for the comment, but you haven’t said anything new; I’m aware of the “technical requirement,” which is why there is a discussion about the validity of the presented documentation. What we have is a digital copy of a copy with no verifiable document number*, no official signature, and no official seal. I can’t even use my credit cards without signing the back, but we’re supposed to accept as end-all, be-all evidence of Obama’s eligibility a document with no tell-tale signs of being official?

      I’m sorry, but I’m not prepared to make a leap of faith that large.

      * I realize that the document number has been blacked out — if there was anything there to black out in the first place. The censoring presents its own problems as the bottom of the document declares that alterations of any kind make the document null and void. A minor, technical detail perhaps, but hey, that’s what the fine print is for. :D

      1. My pleasure Rick, you’ve got a great blog here and I’m happy to participate in this lively discussion. Contrary to what others may have said, I don’t think a person needs to censor themselves from saying what they truly believe for fear of ruining their “reputation”.

        I respect your technical prowess and your friendly help on the Thesis boards and now I can respect that you have the courage of your convictions, even if they aren’t mine.

  17. Rick,
    The difficulty is that pretty much all of these points and criticisms have been answered, many times over – but the doubters dismiss all of the answers. I’d be very surprised if you haven’t seen the answers. Still, you seemed to be asking for sources, so here you go:

    If you go to the article on FactCheck and scroll down to the photos of the short form birth certificate when they examined it in person, you’ll find a close up of the raised seal, and a closeup of the certificate number (along with an explanation of why it was blacked out in the original scan). If you click on the images you’ll see larger versions with a bit more context. Note that the seal appears on the back, and thus is not visible in photos of the front. The photos also include a closeup of the signature stamp. Yes, this is still the short form, which so many people seem to dismiss out of hand – but you’d brought up these points in particular as reasons to doubt that form.

    You also asked for sources regarding anyone who had seen the original long form birth certificate – and again, I’m sure you’ve seen several reports about the Director of Hawaii’s State Health Department and the registrar of vital statistic confirming that they examined it, and it is legitimate. Here’s the article in the Honolulu Advertiser

    These items would have been considered beyond acceptable proof by just about everyone, if the whole issue hadn’t taken a sharp turn into the Conspiracy Zone (which I’m told is next door to the Twilight Zone, but that’s unconfirmed ;) ) Unfortunately, once something has entered the Conspiracy Zone, no proof will satisfy the true believers. So even if the original, long form birth certificate given to his mother was produced, (complete with nearly 50 year old creases and coffee stains) … and if every American who wanted to touch it could…. and if it were subjected to scientific testing to confirm its age, paper and ink type… people would still claim it was forged or changed.

    I mean, people still believe the Amityville Horror was real.

    Why hasn’t Obama requested and released a copy of the long form? I can’t read his mind, but if it were me, I wouldn’t release it. It still wouldn’t satisfy the doubters, and would only focus more attention on the topic, further inflaming and legitimizing the debate… when attention quite honestly needs to be elsewhere. And for all I know, the earlier commenter was right… keeping the conspiracy alive actually helps Obama, by making a large group of his detractors seem desperate and (forgive me) a bit wacky, and keeping them busy on what is essentially a snipe hunt.

    I’d say more, but it comes back to the same point.. no proof will be enough to satisfy those who want to believe Obama’s presidency is illegitimate. Make sense?

    1. Tori

      Oh, now think about your argument for a second. If someone’s called as a witness in a court case, is he relieved of his obligation to tell the whole truth just because some jurors may not believe him? When someone promises to love, honor, and obey, or to uphold the Constitution, is he permitted mental reservations just because not everyone trusts him? Is a scientist relieved of the duty to publish all his results just because some of his peers will still disagree with him? Obama has a duty to make the best evidence of his eligibility publicly available, regardless of the fact that some people will never be satisfied. This he has refused to do.

  18. i want u to know despite one every one says i am glad you aren’t afraid to face the facts like everyone else is i have a 2 year little girl that is mixed half white and half black okay so i am not prejudice but barack should have to have a birth certificate just like everyone else and he he doesn’t then no one should need one anymore at first i thought barack was good for this country but now i am not sure i guess only time well tell that but just keep writing about what you feel strongly about and screw every body else you help me out with writings. no i know i am not the only one who hasn’t forgot about it.

  19. I have no opinion to share on this, but I do have a question. If Barack identifies himself as a US citizen, with legal rights to work within the country, why would it matter if he was born outside of the country? I understand that there is a rule saying that immigrants can’t hold the office, but I’m wondering the rationale behind it.

  20. Having a foreigner run the country leaves open the question of ultimate allegiance, I suppose. I’m sure my dad could explain it better, if he ever sees this. But more or less all it means right now is that Arnold will never be President.

  21. Thanks for the explanation, Rick. We have no such rule in Canada, and I’ve always wondered why the US has it. I guess when you keep your country’s history in mind, it makes sense. I still think that Barack will do just as good a job as any other president. If there’s one thing our countries have in common, it’s that the good politicians are the ones who mess things up the least.

    You’re probably better off without Arnold as president. My favourite quote of his as governor is, “I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.”

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