Wednesday’s post on Alan Keyes’s nutty suit has brought attention to something I’d forgotten from the Clinton years: conservatives aren’t necessarily saner than liberals; they just act sane when their party is in power. Seriously, of all the goofy conspiracy theories I’ve heard over the years, the notion that Barack Hussein* Obama II’s birth certificate isn’t really a “birth certificate” because its title reads “Certification of Live Birth” may not be the goofiest, but it’s clearly on the short list. At least 9/11 could have been an inside job. It wasn’t, of course, but it could have been, which is more than I can say for the notion that a “certification of live birth” does not certify a birth, or that it doesn’t tell you where someone was born even though on the face of it, it clearly does.
To their credit, most of the ‘bats of the right at least had the guts to post their comments publicly or forever hold their peace. One notable exception is Mark Fitzgibbons, a crank attorney who works with Richard “Spam King of the Right” Viguerie, and is presumably to blame for Viguerie’s constitutionally illiterate ramblings (Viguerie himself isn’t a lawyer, so I don’t blame him for being clueless on stuff non-lawyers aren’t generally expected to know, if he had the good sense to consult a lawyer, but nevertheless lacked the good sense to distinguish a good lawyer from a crappy one). Lacking the balls to post a public comment, he sent me this insightful email instead:
Given that under HI law it is possible to have a birth certificate on file even if the person wasn’t born there, how do you come to say that the birth certificate says he was born there? Even the HI official who saw his BC didn’t proclaim that. See:
Remember the “best evidence rule.”
[A side note for the non-lawyers: the best evidence rule is something of a misnomer. It doesn't actually sort out "good" evidence from "better" evidence; what it says is that a copy of a document will generally be inadmissible into evidence if an original is available (or if it is unavailable because of serious misconduct on the part of the party trying to present the copy). It's a largely antiquated rule, which made a lot more sense in the bad old days when "copies" of documents were made by hand and prone to errors, or worse, while modern copies, such as photocopies, faxes and scans, have an eerie habit of saying exactly the same thing that the original said. It's also irrelevant, both because neither the California Evidence Code nor the Federal Rules of Evidence are anywhere near as strict as the common law rule in that regard, and because there's no reason to doubt that any original produced by the State of Hawaii (if indeed this crazy suit gets far enough along to require one) would say exactly the same thing.]
Having previously linked to Obama’s birth certificate, which expressly states that he was born in the City (or town or location, in case you’re some dumbass who doesn’t know if Honolulu is a city, a town or a location, and are relying on someone’s birth certificate to tell you which) of Honolulu, on the Island of Oahu, in the State of Hawaii on August 4, 1961. In case you’re curious, August 4, 1961 is almost 2 1/2 years after Hawaii became our 50th state, and more than 60 years after it became part of the United States. [So if any of Alan Keyes's "lawyers" are reading this and thinking of amending your petition to state that Obama isn't a citizen because he was conceived before Hawaii became a state, fuhgeddaboudit. You might just as well argue that no one born outside the original 13 states is a "natural born citizen," on the theory that Hawaii was not part of the U.S. at the time the original Constitution was adopted, and therefore cannot be part of the definition of "natural born citizen." No, that doesn't mean you wouldn't be a dumbass if you said that. It just means you'd be less of a dumbass than you are.]
Against that backdrop, I responded to the crack attorney thusly:
Gee, I wonder what could have made me think that Obama’s birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii, just because his birth certificate states in plain English that he was born in Hawaii. That’s a thinker.
To which he convincingly replied that:
I can see that neither laws nor evidentiary rules cloud your judgment.
Prompting this response:
Just keep drinking that Kool-Aid. The certificate is on the web for all to see. If you have evidence that it’s a forgery, let’s see it. Otherwise, the fact that a HI official can’t certify to its contents to the world for *privacy* reasons is not a reasonable basis for questioning its authenticity. If this frivolous suit is allowed to go forward, obtaining a fresh certificate from HI will not be a problem, and surprise of all surprises, the original will end up saying exactly what the widely-circulated copy says. [And that's assuming the copy itself isn't admissible, which would be a slam dunk under the traditional best evidence rule, which contemplated manual copying rather than photostats, but is far from clear under Section 1550 et seq. of the California Evidence Code today.]
Since you have convinced yourelf [sic, my bad] that *I* am the one being sloppy on the law, perhaps you’d care to enlighten me as to what part of the Hawaii Revised Statutes allows a person who was not born in Hawaii to obtain a “certification of live birth” from the state falsely stating that he was. You’d think a law that screwy would have gotten a bit more publicity by now.
Rather than responding to the substance of my reply, which he obviously couldn’t, Mr. Fitzgibbons had this to say, instead:
Nice try. Why doesn’t he just disclose the vault copy? You seem to have temper issues, young lady.
The last quip is an understandable mistake, Xrlq being a common name for women in Mombasa, on Mars, or wherever the hell else he thinks Obama was born. I did feel the need to set the record straight, however:
Would that be a “nice try” for pointing out the law that actually applies in California rather than the antiquated rule of evidence you lazily assumed did, even while smugly accusing me of not knowing the law? Or “nice try” in demanding actual evidence that the certificate in question is false, rather than just assuming it must be false because a few cranks would really like it to be?
“Why doesn’t he just disclose the vault copy?”
The same reason Sarah Palin hasn’t faxed copies of her medical records to every crank who accused her of faking a pregnancy, which in turn is the same reason the federal government doesn’t send mountains of documentation to every nut who claims 9/11 was an inside job. There’s nothing to be gained by feeding the trolls.
“You seem to have temper issues, young lady.”
I have no temper issues. I do, however, have a rather low tolerance level for morons of all stripes, as evidenced by the large number of subcategories I’ve devoted to morons on my blog. And with all due respect, anyone who can ask me how I came to say that Barack Obama’s birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii just because Barack Obama’s birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii, definitely qualifies as a moron. That you continued that streak by incorrectly guessing both my age and my sex is just icing on the cake.
But hey, what’s the point of making a fool of yourself in a one-on-one discussion? Better you should share your pearls of wisdom in the comments are for all to see. No need for me to have all the fun.
In response, Marky-Mark wrote:
Oh crap. I don’t know where I got the idea you were female, but boy do I feel like a dumbass now. Sorry.
Just kidding. That’s what a normal person might have written under the circumstances, but then again, a normal person probably wouldn’t have written that goofy crap in the first place. What the Fitzmeister wrote instead was:
No, you definitely have temper issues, and your condescension shows you have insecurity issues as well, with all due respect, young lady.
Your analogies aren’t reasons, and your logic is flawed. Deflecting the question doesn’t answer it. That tells me a lot.
So flawed, of course, that I’m unable to discern the flaws he found too obvious to identify with any specificity. By this time I was thinking, damn, this thread would have been great on a blog entry devoted to Non-Liberal Morons! It’s too bad I never got this ‘tard’s permission to post his drivel! I know, since the guy is stuck on the theory that I have a temper, maybe I should really tell him off, and also tell him that anything he chooses to send to me from now on is apt to be published! The dolt won’t be able to resist the opportunity to say “see, I told you so,” and I’ll be good to go. In that spirit, I wrote:
No, you are definitely an idiot, and an asshole to boot. Who but an asshole uses a condescending phrase like “young lady” to anyone, let alone to someone he *knows* is neither particularly young nor a lady? Fuck you.
Apart from being a world-class prick, you are now one other thing, as well: on notice that any emails you send me from this point forward may, and probably will, end up on the net. You’ve been warned.
That shut him up for the rest of the day. Today he responded:
You’re right. It was stupid and presumptuous of me to call you “young lady” without even knowing your age or your sex, and I was a complete and total jackass to repeat the name after having had it pointed out to me that you were neither. I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.
Psyche! Here’s what he actually said, in an email that included the entire exchange below:
Well, you definitely aren’t a man, because anyone who sends email with that churlish tone, but who doesn’t sign his name, doesn’t have a pair of balls.
Have you tried therapy?
“Mark” my words: if anyone associated with the Obama Administration should die between now and 2013, or if any well-known critic of the Obama Administration does, some dumbass is going to claim it was because Barack killed him with his own bare hands.
*If Obama ever strays from the plantation** and becomes persona non grata among the left, watch for an equally silly theory that BHO’s birth certificate doesn’t count because it includes his prohibited middle name.
**No, Oliver-Willis-Ass, I will not give you a cotton pickin’ apology for using an expression loosely connected with slavery, at least not when discussing some boy*** whose ancestors may well have owned slaves (either as a trader on his father’s side or as an owner on his mother’s) but were certainly never slaves themselves.
***And I thoroughly reject the notion that there is anything racist or otherwise objectionable about the word “boy.” If in doubt, here’s an experiment: form a cover band, practice “Johnny B. Goode,” and perform it to the best of your ability before a predominantly black crowd on a Friday night. Then, the following night, perform the song again, but replace the b-word with its alleged synonym:
Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country
boyn****r named Johnny B. Goode
If you manage to finish the song in one piece, post a comment here and tell us how it went. And if you didn’t, hey, it was for science.