The only thing weirder than the birthers…

The only thing weirder than the Birthers are the quasi-Birthers who suggest that “anti-Birthers” are the real conspiracy theorists by refusing to call for President Obama to release his birth certificate. Those are the double-nutburgers, soaring in the outer reaches of the solar system.

What’s next…calling the moon-landing “believers” conspiracy theorists for not calling on Obama to investigate the “faked” moon landings. You know…just to put the whole faked moon landing thing to rest. (As if any such investigation could do any such thing.)

“But, but, but, but ALL Obama has to do is release the long-form birth certificate,” I hear Mr. Joseph and Lou Dobbs protest. The statement simply dismisses the fact that Obama has released a birth certificate that is fully valid for all legal purposes.

The “long form” birth certificate offers more information about the medical circumstances of the birth, but adds nothing relevant to any legal question of whether or not Obama is a natural born citizen. I mean, seriously, Obama’s citizenship is neither strengthened nor falsified by the physican’s name or the start date of his mother’s last menstrual period prior to the birth. The constitution does not specify a minimum birth weight or crown-heel length to hold the office of the President. All the information required to establish citizenship is on the “short form” birth certificate that was released by Obama.

Let me say it again: eligibility to be President is a legal issue. All legal questions about Obama’s eligibility are fully addressed by the birth certificate that Obama has provided. Nothing is left to “faith” or “belief”. People calling for the long-form certificate are either (1) unaware of the legal issues or are (2) basing their calls on irrational, emotional needs, not legal ones.

But, according to Mr. Joseph, I’m the conspiracy theorist because I don’t buy into the (1) ignorance or (2) emotional angst. Whatever, dude!

And now I want to take this post in another direction. Joseph and many birfers suffer from fundamentally misunderstanding birth certificates. I find the misunderstanding both ignorant and annoying. For example, Joseph states:

Release the original [birth certificate] and let’s be done with this madness.

During the last campaign, John McCain faced similar questions and promptly responded by releasing his original birth certificate.

Both of these statements are incorrect. Obama cannot release his “original birth certificate” and McCain did not release his “original birth certificate”. Both Obama and McCain released certified copies of their birth records. The “original birth certificate” is a document that is possessed by the legal entity responsible for maintaining vital records (typically a Registrar of Vital Statistics). All “birth certificates” that we possess aren’t birth certificates. Rather, they are certified reproductions of the birth certificate or certified copies of the information contained in the original birth certificate.

For example, I was born in Santa Maria, CA, just a month and a few days before Obama’s birth. My parents were originally given a Notification of Birth Registration. This only showed that the “Certificate of Birth” had been legally filed. It states, “a certified copy of the birth certificate may be obtained from your Local Registrar of Vital Statistics”

I have what is probably the first certified copy of my birth certificate. It cost my father $2.00–he paid by check about two months after my birth. The document has white print on black background, and is a photographic reproduction of the original (possibly duplicated from microfilm). There is a piece of paper attached to the reproduction that says, “This is to certify that the attached is a true and correct copy of the vital record which is on file in this office and of which I am the legal custodian.” It is signed and sealed by the Santa Barbara county health officer.

Let’s call this the “long form” certified copy of my birth certificate.

I also have a later certified copy of my birth certificate that was issued in 1992. This one is printed on fancy certificate paper with a blue engraved border and a red serial number. The document is titled, “Certification of Vital Record, Santa Barbara County.” In the middle of this very beautiful form is an ugly photographic copy of some of the birth certificate, this time black printing on a white background. The 1992 certified copy is missing a bunch of information that was found in the 1961 version, like my mother’s birth history, length of gestation, my mother’s last menstrual period, my birth weight, my length at birth, when prenatal care began, check-boxes to denote any congenital anomalies, injuries, complications of deliveries, “operation for delivery,” etc.

Huh…so that makes the 1992 certificate a “medium form” certified copy of my birth certificate. I wonder if birfers would accept a similarly abbreviated image for Obama? (I can only imagine: “Only God and Obama have no known weights or lengths at birth.”)

While I haven’t ordered a recent certified copy of my birth certificate, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to receive something without the image, but with the relevant legal information printed out. This is because some jurisdictions computerized their vital records, and did so in an era were computer data storage was expensive. Rather than scanning all original birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc. certificates as images (leading to big storage issues), they entered the relevant legal information into the computer as text. From there a certified vital record could simply be printed, which is is much easier than pulling out the microfilm, slogging through it to find the proper record, and then printing the record onto the certification form. Whence the modern “short form.”

But legally, all three forms—short, medium or long—provide the information necessary to establish citizenship.


  1. 1

    Jack spews:

    The time lines, places, actions, motives, when analyzed, support, and are consistent with, what is the answer to the Obama birth puzzle:

    Obama’s grandmother is his mother and his mother is his sister.

    Think about it. Review all the facts and claims.

  2. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Goldy, you can’t reason with people who believe that some old geezer’s notarized affidavit that he saw alien bodies in the Roswell morgue proves the existence of extraterrestrial beings.

    To these people, a piece of paper proves a proposition is true, and its (purported) absence proves it’s not true. When these characters show up in court lawyers shake their heads and jurors roll their eyes.

    The birther “controversy” demonstrates the complete incapacity for reasoning of the lunatic right. The reason it’s possible for the pied pipers of the right to tell these goofballs what to think is because they’re unable to think or exercise judgment on their own.

    A couple generations ago, Adolf Hitler made a lot of hay from people like that. (And, it should be remembered, when his end came he was more than willing to throw the dupes who followed him into the same flaming pyre he lit for the rest of the world.)

  3. 4


    you misunderstand; the birther movement does not believe Obama was born. At all. Ever.

    They believe he is simply a figment of your imagination.

    And they are not pleased.

  4. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 The “facts and claims” have been reviewed to the farthest reaches of the world and what emerges is that his mother was, in fact, his mother.

  5. 7


    Darryl, I think you’re doing a birther post because you have nothing good to say about Obama. I just went back over your last 12 posts, and there is not one pro-Obama or pro-Democrat post. It’s just a bunch of your bitching about the party that isn’t in power.

    What’s wrong? Don’t much care for the job Obama or Congress or the Mayor or the Governor is doing?

  6. 8

    jcricket spews:

    People calling for the long-form certificate are either (1) unaware of the legal issues or are (2) basing their calls on irrational, emotional needs, not legal ones.

    You forgot (3)are disingenuous asshats who know that the legal threshold is well met, but want to do whatever they can to de-legitimize the first black president.

  7. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 You’re giving 99.99999999% of the birthers waaaaay too much credit for rationale thought. They are merely following their pied pipers. They don’t think, and don’t need to think, because Lush Flimflam does their thinking for them. Psychologists call this “co-dependency.”

  8. 11

    k spews:

    Tell me again where youe blog is troll? You know the one where YOU initiate the threads and not comment on others’.

  9. 12

    jcricket spews:


    I don’t give them credit for rational thought at all. It’s more like they are desperately grasping at any straw tossed out there because Murka simply can’t have a Negro in the White House. It’s not like they have a lot in the way of brainy resources, so they take what is tossed their way as an issue. Unfortunately, the Birfer Movement is a subcategory of TinFoil Hat in Crazytown (With a little sheet-covered costume on the side.)

  10. 14

    jcricket spews:


    Excuse me, but the e-mail that REAL Nigerians sent me when they asked for help and told me about their sad financial story specifically told me that Obama was NOT Nigerian.

    Just sayin’.

  11. 15


    I was Jesuit-educated. Taught to pull back and look at the big picture. You sheep are just gobbling up this birther post, while I, the highly educated one, put the post in context, did research, and discovered pattern to his posts.

    I amaze myself.

  12. 16



    I think you’re doing a birther post because you have nothing good to say about Obama.”

    Ummmm…no. I did a birfer post because I felt like writing a birfer post. Very simple, really.

    “I just went back over your last 12 posts, and there is not one pro-Obama or pro-Democrat post.”

    It is unlikely you went over my last 12 posts, which have largely been on another blog.

    “It’s just a bunch of your bitching about the party that isn’t in power.”

    So? How is that at all relevant?

    “What’s wrong?”

    You mean besides the excess of crazy, bigoted wingnuts asshats like you???

    “Don’t much care for the job Obama or Congress or the Mayor or the Governor is doing”

    Silly Troll…it appears you haven’t a clue about why I do or don’t write about things.

  13. 17


    I counted Drinking Liberally annoucements, Podcasting Liberally announcements, and Open Threads as posts. And yeah, I went back 12.

  14. 18

    My Left Foot spews:


    My good friend Roger Rabbit thinks you are full shit.

    He is a really smart man. Law degree, valid law license and all.

    But I have question…being so smart, how come he does not KNOW you are full of shit?

    I do.

  15. 19


    Troll @ 17,

    “I counted Drinking Liberally annoucements, Podcasting Liberally announcements, and Open Threads as posts. And yeah, I went back 12.”

    Ummm…as I said…you have not looked at my last 12 posts if you only looked on Horsesass.

  16. 20

    ArtFart spews:


    You’re being far, far too charitable by using the word “misunderstanding” to refer to these people.

    “Making shit up” is more like it. You know, like all the reasons that were stated for invading Iraq, or monitoring our phone calls, bank transactions and what books we borrowed from the library.

    Like “teabagging”.

    Like Sarah Palin saying she’s quitting because she’s “not a quitter”.

    Like claiming health care reform is merely a cover for government-mandated euthanasia.

    Like demanding everyone else’s children be taught an allegory written thousands of years ago as scientific fact, because you think that will make Rapture come and you’ll get to go to heaven without having to die.

    Like persecuting gays because they’re somehow a “threat to marriage”.

    Just one more delusion from a pathetic minority of paranoid schizophrenics who in the end, aren’t much different from Jonestown or the Manson clan.

  17. 22


    Troll @ 15

    “I was Jesuit-educated.”

    And, apparently, you hate them enough to say so.

    “You sheep are just gobbling up this birther post, while I, the highly educated one, put the post in context, did research, and discovered pattern to his posts.”

    Oh? And what “pattern” did you find? More importantly, how does the “pattern” change the meaning of the birfer post? Please be specific.

    “I amaze myself.”

    Yes…I’m sure you do.


  18. 24

    jcricket spews:

    I was Jesuit-educated. Taught to pull back and look at the big picture.

    Shorter Troll: I was expelled from school.

  19. 25



    “Haha. You gave me attention.”

    Your comment suggests some deep insecurities. Have you been weaned yet?

    “I won.”

    Indeed…if looking like a moron was your goal.

  20. 26

    Now you see it spews:

    Just remember Republicans are insanely stupid. They think the Earth is 6,000 years old, evolution isn’t real, but creationism is…science isn’t real, reality doesn’t matter, facts don’t apply, logic can’t help. They have “feelings” and “faith” in place of reason and common sense. You can’t reason with insane people. If someone REALLY thinks Noah’s Ark was literal or the Earth is 6,000 years old you CAN’T use rational thought to debate them. NOTHING can shake magical beliefs. If some Republican says they KNOW they have an invisible magical unicorn in their closet, there is NOTHING you can say to disprove that to them.

    They KNOW Obama isn’t an American as a matter of faith, so no “fact” can change that.

    When Republicans talk, just nod politely and back away slowly so you don’t spook them.

  21. 28

    Erich von Lustbader spews:

    They are ust a bunch of self-serving liars. They knew Bush was a hypocritical military deserter and all the rest of the neo-con war hawks were Vietnam chickenhawks.

    They are so full of shit. This blithe truth twisting they do is a form of evil. Both the saying of it and the willful belief in the evil nonsense.

  22. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 “But I have question…being so smart, how come he does not KNOW you are full of shit?”

    I could just as easily have said “I know [troll] is full of shit” instead of “I think [troll] is full of shit” but I’m too lazy to use the English language with such fine shades of precision. Functionally, in this context, you may consider “think” and “know” as meaning the same things. Anyone who reads even one of troll’s comments immediately knows he’s full of shit. After all, being full of shit is troll’s stock-in-trade. He thinks he’s being cute, but in his case, “cute” and “boring” are the same thing.

  23. 31

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Who gives a shit where the Milk Chocolate Messiah was born? The only reason that “born in the USA” requirement was in the Constitution was that the Founding Fathers wanted to keep Alexander Hamilton out of the office of President. Since Hamilton has been dead for around 200 years, I’d say we can amend the Constitution to get rid of that requirement.

  24. 32

    Green Thumb spews:

    The more the left focuses on the birther meme the more it is kept alive. Can we move on now?

  25. 33

    rhp6033 spews:

    Why would the conservatives continue to support the whack-job “birther” theories? You have to understand Evangelical religious/political theory.

    Centuries ago the moral justification for political power was that God had annointed kings to rule over us (known in political theory as “the divine right of kings”). The Bible says we should pray for those who rule over us, and preaches subservence to lawful authority. This was (sometimes) enforced by the Pope in the threat of eternal damnation via excommunication from the church.

    So in centuries past, how would political rivals convince others to help them depose the king, knowing that the threat of excommunication might send them to a very hot eternity? They argued that the King was not the “real King”. They argued that the person on the throne was the product of some illegitimate union, a bastard child, a pretender or imposter, an usurper who was holding the real King (perhaps an older brother?) hostage somewhere else.

    Fast forwarding to the past thirty years or so: When Republicans were in charge (Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, Republicans within the Evangelical churches would regularly castigate those who criticized the Republican president, by saying that (a) we should never criticize the President while U.S. troops were engaged in war (by their definition, we were always at war), and (b) we should never criticize the President, whom God had selected as our leader (our elections being just a rubber-stamping of God’s will). To them, political criticism was not just political, it was a sin.

    But with the decline of the Republican base over the past two years, the remaining Evangelicals make up an even larger percentage of the remaining remnant. So how do the Republican party activists justify attacking the President? By attacking his legitimacy as President.

    By keeping a long leash on the ‘birthers”, they not only justify opposition to the President, they make it a moral imperitive. At the same time, the vacume of moral leadership is filled by some rather strange creatures: Rush, O’Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, etc.

    Over the past thirty years you saw this to a lesser extent when party operatives attended church prayer breakfasts (and other similar meetings) to shake a lot of hands and assure those attending that Jimmy Carter was “not a real born-gain Christian because he serves wine in the White House”, Kerry was not a “real Vietnam combat veteran because he awarded all those medals to himself”, Clinton was not a “valid authority figure” due to his personal failings, and only Republican candidates were real “Men of God” who were qualified to be President.

    Ironically, in the process they threw Jimmy Carter, the only real “born-again” Christian to be President, under the proverbial bus in favor of Ronald Reagan, who occassionaly professed Christian values but rarely attended church except as part of a public special occassion.

  26. 34

    rhp6033 spews:

    Troll @ 15: “…while I, the highly educated one,….

    I’m still chuckling over that one.

  27. 35

    YLB spews:

    33 – Interesting. Jeff Sharlet in his books and articles has explored the relationship between Christian Evangelicals and people in power and that odd notion that heads of state whether they are Dems, Republicans, Dictators, Communist autocrats whatever are there because of some divine will. This notion goes beyond politicians to mega-wealthy people as well.

  28. 36

    rhp6033 spews:

    YLB @ 35: I’ll have to look for the Sharlet books.

    As for the mega-wealthy, that’s an outgrowth of Calvinistic teachings, which at the time was also wrapped up in pre-destination theology. According to that theory, since God is in control of everything, he already knows who will be Christians who will enter into His Kindom. According to Calvinist/Puritan theology, such people are identified not only by their fervent and obedient religious behavior, but also by the fact that if they obey God’s teachings as set forth in the book of Proverbs (teaching humility, thrift, hard work, sobriety, etc.,)God will blessed them in material ways.

    Now, this Puritan morality is actually a rather good thing in some respects, in that it promotes beneficial economic behavior (thrift, hard work, etc.). It also becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy, in that adherence to the rules does tend to create wealth.

    But the flip side is rather dangerous. It teaches that those who lack material goods are in that position because of some moral failure. It is presumed that they would also be materially successful if they only worked harder, drank less, were more thrifty, etc. This side of the coin, however, ignores the teachings of the Book of Job, whereby Job’s friends who offered the same explanation that his calamaties must have been caused by some “secret sin” were rebuked by God. It also provides a “moral justification” by those who argue that they shouldn’t feed and shelter the poor (as Jesus taught), by arguing that doeing so was enabling behavior, or somehow it interfered with God’s will.

    I used to be regularly involved in debt counseling in my church, but lately I’ve been more involved in helping churches set up debt counseling ministries. I found that it was very difficult to find teachers who would deal with the people in trouble in a non-judgemental way. Usually pastors setting up debt-counseling figure that if you want financial advice, you should go to the wealthiest person in the church, whom they assigned to counsel the poorest people in the church.

    Sometimes that does work. But most of the time it’s like having the oldest spinster giving marital advice – they really aren’t qualified. I’m approaching the subject in the same way AA does – the best counselor for alchoholics is a former alchoholic, and the best counselor for people in financial difficulty is someone who has been in financial difficulty themselves at one time in their life or another.

  29. 37

    Erich von Lustbader spews:

    re 31: “…the Milk Chocolate Messiah….”

    Fine. Then Bush is the Country Club Cocksucker.

  30. 38

    Gabe spews:

    Is the Birther movement really as surprise?

    I mean, the heart of the Republican Party and the conservative movement is fear of people, and paranoia about “outsiders.”

    The Birthers are the quintessential essence of WHAT IT IS to be Republican, Libertarian, conservative or right wing.

  31. 39

    Haywood Jablome spews:

    @38, so you mean the party(democrat) of queers, illegal aliens, socialists, communists, military haters, business haters, super-sized govt, and the generally lazy is now the “normal” party?

    hhmmm(shrugs shoulders), I guess I’m glad I ditched that whole party thing long, republucan, whatever – they are haven for the lemmings in society. piss on all of them…

  32. 40

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    “Erich von Lustbader spews:

    re 31: “…the Milk Chocolate Messiah….”

    Fine. Then Bush is the Country Club Cocksucker.”

    Beats me. I have no idea what Bush does.