Birther karma: Hoaxers get hoaxed on alleged Kenya document

August 4, 2009

He who lives by the hoax, dies by the hoax.

People have been complaining for months about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, complaining that the official, under seal document from the State of Hawaii should not be honored, contrary to Hawaii law, contrary to federal immigration law, and contrary to the Constitution’s full faith and credit clause.  Something must be wrong with the document, they have claimed over and over, though no credible evidence of any problem has ever surfaced, let alone been presented to any authority.  Lawsuits have been dismissed for standing, dismissed for failure to state a case, and lately dismissed with warnings that nuisance suits will bring Rule 11 sanctions (Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that an attorney not file false or misleading documents, and that they swear that what they allege in a complaint is actual controversy and not hoax or false).

Even a reiteration from Hawaii officials didn’t quell the lunatic screams from the birther asylums.  (Here’s I’ve usually referred to the birth certificate-obsessed, or BCOs; I’ll continue using that acronym.)

The BCO universe erupted with glee over the weekend with the presentation of a document purported to be a birth certificate for Barack Obama, Jr., from Mombasa, Kenya.

While warning more sane and cool people that they were not skeptical enough of Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate, BCOs claimed they now had the smoking gun.  Orly Taitz, a California dentist/lawyer, promised to blow the case of Obama’s alleged ineligibility wide open with new filings of documents in California state courts.

They wanted so badly for the document to true and accurate, even though it would have offered no new ammunition for their claims, since Obama’s mother was a citizen and under U.S. law a child born to a U.S. citizen is considered a born citizen no matter where in the universe it is born . . .

That was Friday night.  Beginning Saturday morning, the hoax began to unravel.

BCO’s were had!  Someone had hoaxed them!

So, of course, they have gotten louder in their demands that the White House toss Obama to the crowd with pitchforks and torches, so they can investigate.

The document is a classic hoax, delivered where and when gullibility made the BCO arguments most vunerable  (which is any time, really).

Just after having complained that long-established and well-respected hoax debunking site Snopes.com could not be trusted, WorldNet Daily, the modern electronic analog to the pre-lawyered National Enquirer crossed wtih Saga magazine, now claimed it had the smoking document, and showed pictures of it.

Hoax birth certificate for Barack Obama, Jr, alleged to be showing birth in Mombasa, then Zanzibar

Hoax birth certificate for Barack Obama, Jr, alleged to be showing birth in Mombasa, then Zanzibar

Never mind that the certificate offered suffers from more problems than the BCOs claimed to find with the document Hawaii offered — no signatures of any official, no attending physician, unintelligible seal, not a “long form,” etc. — it was, WorldNet Daily, Orly Taitz and others said, THE jenyu-wine article.  They even offered close-ups.

Another view of the hoax document offeree by BCO Orly Taitz.

Another view of the hoax document offeree by BCO Orly Taitz.

See?  Right there you can see:  Barack Obama, Sr. (Obama’s father), 26 years old.  The Registrar, E. F. Lavender.  Registered in Mombasa on August 5, 1961, one day after Obama’s birthday.  It even shows the book and page number of the original registration document, and the date the  official who signed this document issued it in Mombasa, Republic of Kenya, on February 17, 1964.

Okay, students:  How many problems can you find with the document?

See below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why bother to learn spelling in an age of computerized spell-checkers?

August 4, 2009

As often, slam-poetry veteran (and former teacher) Taylor Mali has important advice for people who trust computers too much:  “The Impotence of Proofreading.”

Um, this probably isn’t really safe for work, at least not in Texas or Alabama, and maybe not advisable for classroom use either.  But every English teacher in your school will have horror stories to add:

Am I the only one who thinks that reading a lot is a great way to overcome these problems?


Geographical lottery: Gambling with health care

August 4, 2009

Is it true that kids can’t get insured in Texas if their parents have two vehicles?  I mean, this is Texas, the anti-mass transit state — how can you get a kid to the emergency room for the high-cost health care if you don’t have two cars, one for work, one for the family?

Children’s Defense Fund will help you contact your legislators to recommend improving health care for children.

How is the insurance weather where you are? Share the news:

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It takes a choir to sing, “It takes a village”

August 4, 2009

Kathryn sings with the Arlington Master Chorale.  Last week they performed for the Texas Choir Directors Association Convention in San Antonio.  Randy Jordan leads and directs the group.

Before the San Antonio performance, they sang the program at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Arlington, a beautifully spare performance space suited well to a hundred good, mature voices.

Joan Szymko‘s “It Takes A Village” made a stunning and rousing finale for the concert.  The piece opens with the choir tapping their chests for a heartbeat rhythm, which by itself stirs an audience when performed by so many.  It features a simple melody and lyric, though inspiring when done en masse or with a good solo.

And it packs an integral political message.  The text is that same phrase that became a watershed between conservatives and liberals in the 1990s.

Cut to the chase:  Hillary Clinton was right, and so especially was the Children’s Defense Fund right, and Jane Cowen-Fletcher right, about our collective obligation to raise the next generations.  When pared down to the basic claim as sung by a good or ambitious choir, it’s an inspiration.

It takes a whole village to raise the children.
It takes the whole village to raise one child.

We all — everyone — must share the burden.
We all — everyone — will share the joy.

Some music is best experienced live, and this may be one.  There are several recordings of this piece available on YouTube, not one done so well as the Arlington Master Chorale last week in my opinion (the choir directors loved it, too, I hear).

Here are two performances of the piece, each done very differently from the other.  Until some enterprising group makes a more polished and better recorded video of the Arlington group, these will have to do (there are other versions on YouTube).

It is particularly spine-tingling to hear and see it performed by our children.  When sung with gusto, the thought transcends and soars over politics.  Song tells truths of the heart that politics needs to hear, and feel, and experience.

The Oklahoma All-State Choir

Oklahoma All-State Choir

Performed by the 2009 All-OMEA Mixed Chorus (Oklahoma All-State Choir).
Clinician: Johnathan Reed
Accompanist: Ron Wallace

Mt. Eden, Tennyson High and Hayward High Honor Choir at Chabot College (California)

Are there good, commercially-available recordings of this song?  Please note them in comments.  If you are a commercial music producer, I recommend the Arlington Master Chorale’s performance for recording.

 


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