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Posted by That Other Mike on 18/01/2009
Le sigh, as they say in France. Or not.
I’m a person who’s interested in politics generally. I try to keep up with the news via a number of source as much as possible, and I frequently read assorted blogs of various political stripes and persuasions, just to keep my ear on the ground. One of the ways I find them is via links on other people’s pages, which is how I first saw Rumproast; another is by looking through RSS feeds and the tag listings on WordPress. While noodling around on the WordPress tag pages, specifically the Barack Obama tag, I came across the following:
It has been said that if you want to know what is going on in Washington, just look at the record. From the record, it appears that as the clamoring began over the fact that Sen. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone to American citizens (serving in the military), Barack Obama attached himself to McCain’s cause as a means of protecting himself as well.
A bill known as S. 2678: Children of Military Families Natural Born Citizen Act. The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Sen. Thomas Coburn (R-OK), in February 2008. This Act attempted to allow the Senate to make changes to the Constitution’s Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 with reference to the definition of “natural born citizen” and that requirement as it applies to the eligibility of the President of the United States. This bill met the same defaet that similar changes to the Naturalization Act had faced.
on a blog called James4America, which is supposedly an acronym for Just Americans Making Ethical Statements; more tortuous a pseudo-acronym has not been seen since the USA PATRIOT Act. Said blog is a conspiracy site focusing upon the alleged evilness of Barack Obama; topics include the non-existent “friendship” with the evil, evil Bill Ayers, but the place seems for focus particularly on the natural-born citizenship conspiracy wingnuttery. It repeats the same non-problems which have been addressed literally thousands of times elsewhere. You have to give the Obama-conspiracy nuts points for their tenacity, I suppose. Goodness knows they won’t get points for anything else, like accuracy, good sense or sanity.
Except that it wouldn’t alter the meaning of the natural-born citizen clause at all; it would have clarified it to explicitly include the children of American military personnel born overseas.
Furthermore, it also would have had absolutely no material effect on Obama, as he was a) born in Hawaii, and b) born to civilian parents.
This was, I thought, a mild-mannered, factual and otherwise unobjectionable response; after all, the Bill was specifically only about the children of military personnel born overseas, neither of Obama’s parents were in the military, and his birth certificate states that he was born in Hawaii. No muss, no fuss.
I thought I’d rein in the snark, because, well, I didn’t feel like immediately throwing grenades.
I checked in later, and found comments by someone called Interested Bystander, here, here and here, and oh, by the teeth of the holy crocodile, it’s chock full of teh stupid. It seems IB has been palling around with Creationists, because he has the Gish Gallop down to a fine art.
Le shock! IB is a Birther!1 Quelle horreur! And other French and pseudo-French phrases.
I was going to deal with every “point” he raised in comments over there, but I decided to do it here instead, where I can control the medium and also lay down some serious, wall to wall snark carpeting in lush velvet shag pile.
Answers to his “points” are all going to be glommed together, because they seem to be the product of a stream of consciousness process, using the term consciousness in a very loose fashion.
What is a civilian parent Mike? We’re all civilians Mike. Even military people are civilians.
What evidence do you have that Obama was born in Hawaii? I have researched this to no end, and I still haven’t come up with any evidence at all that proves conclusively that Obama was born in Hawaii.
Well, you either can’t have been looking too hard or you have the research skills of a first grader, because it seems like every other person on the planet has seen his birth certificate, as well as the birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser (which requires documentary evidence of the birth to print its announcements) and the Star Bulletin (which prints announcements via information directly from Health Department records), not to mention the testimony by the appropriate Hawaiian officials that he was, in fact, born in Hawaii.
I want to put this to bed Mike.
Really? Because the evidence is there. You know, sane people generally change their ideas when they’ve been shown to be wrong. What’s your excuse?
Since you seem to know Mike, answer these questions for me Mike:
What proof do you have that Obama was born in Hawaii?
See above – birth certificate, announcement of birth, Hawaiian officials. And you mean “evidence”, not “proof”. Proof is for mathematicians.
Was Obama adopted by Lolo Soetoro?
Who the hell cares? It wouldn’t affect his citizenship one iota, because under American law, a minor child’s citizenship cannot be renounced by the child or the parent (or step-parent, in this case), and citizenship of a natural-born citizen cannot be removed by the marriage of a parent. To wit, I refer you to the US Nationality Act of 1940, which states in Section 401:
A person who is a national of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by: (a) Obtaining naturalization in a foreign state, either upon his own application or through the naturalization of a parent having legal custody of such person: Provided, however, That nationality not be lost as the result of the naturalization of a parent unless and until the child shall have attained the age of twenty-three years without acquiring permanent residence in the United States
and in Section 407:
A person having American nationality, who is a minor and is residing in a foreign state with or under the legal custody of a parent who loses American nationality under section 404 of this Act, shall at the same time lose his American nationality if such minor has or acquires the nationality of such foreign state: Provided, That, in such case, American nationality shall not be lost as the result of loss of American nationality by the parent unless and until the child attains the age of twenty-three years without having acquired permanent residence in the United States.
The Act was amended in 1952 to state, in Section 349 (a):
“From and after the effective date of this Act a person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by — (1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application, upon an application filed in his behalf by a parent, or duly authorized agent, or through the naturalization of a parent having legal custody of such person: Provided, That nationality shall not be lost by any person under this section as the result of the naturalization of a parent or parents while such person is under the age of twenty-one years, or as the result of naturalization obtained on behalf of a person under twenty-one years of age by a parent, guardian, or duly authorized agent, unless such person shall fail to enter the United States to establish a permanent residence prior to his twenty-fifth birthday:
and in Section 355:
“A person having United States nationality, who is under the age of twenty-one and whose residence is in a foreign state with or under the legal custody of a parent who hereafter loses United States nationality under section 350 or 352 of this title, shall also lose his United States nationality if such person has or acquires the nationality of such foreign state: Provided, That, in such case, United States nationality shall not be lost as the result of loss of United States nationality by the parent unless and until the person attains the age of twenty-five years without having established his residence in the United States.”
Emphases mine. I believe the weight of law and evidence is on my side here, but do feel free to chime in at any point with your alternative impression.
What passport did he use to travel to Pakistan in 1981?
The one issued by the United States, I imagine. I believe that you’re referring to erroneous belief that there was a ban on US citizens going to Pakistan in 1981; unless the journalists involved in this piece from the New York Times at the time also all had Pakistani passports, you don’t really have a leg to stand on:
Tourists can obtain a free, 30-day visa (necessary for Americans) at border crossings and airports
The US and Pakistan were allies at the time, and there was no travel ban. There may well have been travel advisories, but they don’t in any case constitute a ban.
Did Obama recieve scholarships, or grants that were set aside for foriegn students while he was at Occidental, Columbia, or Harvard?
Not unless they routinely hand them out to US citizens.
Pretty easy questions Mike, and if you can give me proof of your answers, then we can put this issue to rest, once and for all.
Pretty easily answered, too, with the Magic of Google™. And yet, somehow, I doubt you’ll take the facts into account.
I forgot, I want conclusive proof, with links to where you got your answers.
Evidence provided, with links.
I doubt you can answer even one of my questions, and do you know why? Because Obama will not release the documents, that’s why.
Nonetheless, here we are; I’ve answered your first round of questions, and provided documentation to that effect. I presume you’ll be full of Obama-mania now. Regarding released documents, Obama has given his birth certificate already. Did you miss it? Here you go, and you’re welcome! Wait, what’s that? You want him to release his “long form/vault” birth certificate, despite the fact that every civil authority in the country regards the short form as prima facie evidence of citizenship, right up to and including the Federal government? As a matter of fact, Hawaii does not allow the release of “long form/vault” birth certificates, even to the person whose certificate it is.
I’d also like to know why Obama’s father’s race is listed as “African” on his Certification of Live Birth?
Because that is the answer he gave. Hawaii asks what race they self-identify as, and uses that. From FactCheck.org:
Update, August 26: We received responses to some of our questions from the Hawaii Department of Health. They couldn’t tell us anything about their security paper, but they did answer another frequently-raised question: why is Obama’s father’s race listed as “African”? Kurt Tsue at the DOH told us that father’s race and mother’s race are supplied by the parents, and that “we accept what the parents self identify themselves to be.” We consider it reasonable to believe that Barack Obama, Sr., would have thought of and reported himself as “African.” It’s certainly not the slam dunk some readers have made it out to be.
I have been given the reason as the Hawaiian HHS folks let people tell them what to put on the Certificate. I find this a bogus reason.
So? Your opinion, which is starting to look objectively wrong in all respects, is not binding on the State of Hawaii. You may have a gut feeling about it; I, however, in the words of the late Carl Sagan, try not to think with my gut. Unless, of course, it’s about sandwiches. Otherwise, I use my brain.
Would they let someone list their race as “American”, or “Canadian”, or maybe “Martian”, or how about “Hoosier”? I doubt it Mike, even in 1961, when Obama was born, there was classifications of race. I believe they would be Asian, Caucasion, Hispanic, Indian, or Negroid.
Because, after all, Hoosier or Martian are equivalent to African. Riiiiight. Here’s a clue: pull your head out of your arse. Get some oxygen flowing to your brain, it might help. If they asked Barack Obama, Snr, his race and he replied, “African”, they would put it down as his race.
I have been baffled by this for a while. When I was given the reason above, I thought it sounded like a bogus argument.
Well, I think that the reasoning given in DC v. Heller was pretty bogus, not to mention Bush v. Gore. And yet, I’m not a Supreme Court justice, meaning that my opinion on this matter has little bearing. Given that you seem intent on ignoring the facts and wallowing in illogical nonsense, yours seems to have even less.
But Mike, you seem to know Obama was born in Hawaii, so maybe you could explain the “Race” issue from Obama’s Certification of Live Birth.
Done. Feel free to start listening to the messages coming in via outside sources. You may get better reception after removing the hat; the tinfoil tends to block the signal.
Thanks for your informative help Mike.
You’re so welcome, although I don’t doubt you’ll ignore every word that doesn’t fit your preconceptions.
The short version, IB, is that your ideas have been judged and found wanting in light of all the evidence. Will you in fact be an adult, acknowledge that you were wrong, and get on with your life? Or will you continue in your folly, beating a dead horse? Your call.
To other readers: I expect him to continue in the second course of action, as will many others of his ilk for the next 4 – 8 years. Because I
love like can tolerate you all, that’s why I recommend shares in Reynolds Wrap; we’ll all make a ton of money with these people around.
1 HT to Yes to Democracy for the term. I am aware of all Internet traditions.