Stanley Ann was soooo excited! At 18, she was going on her very first trip, all alone, as an adult. And it wasn’t just to the big island of Hawaii. It was to East Africa!
Her parents had been less than thrilled when she told them of her plans. “But honey,” her Dad had objected. “Just for the airfare alone, the cost of this trip is SIX MONTHS‘ worth of income… and that’s for ME! Where are you going to come up with all of that money?”
“Well, Dad…” she batted her eyelashes. “I thought you might help me. Just a little bit.”
“Well…” her Dad looked doubtful. “How much do you have so far towards the trip?”
“Eighteen dollars and ninety-three cents,” she replied proudly.
“Well, that’s a start. But honey –” her Mom interrupted. “You’re seven months pregnant. You’ll be close to nine months for this trip. Don’t you think you ought to stay a little closer to home?”
“Oh, Mom! That’s the very best part!” Stanley Ann exclaimed. “Two can travel for the price of one. And someday I can tell my baby that he made a trip to Africa and back while he was in my tummy!”
“But what if you have to give birth in Africa? This IS your firstborn child, you know.”
“Oh, Mom…” Stanley Ann rolled her eyes. “Are you going to tell me that East Africa isn’t just as advanced as Honolulu? Come on, Mom. This is 1961! ALL the girls want to give birth in African hospitals these days. It’s like a status symbol. Everybody’s doing it.”
“Well…” her Mom looked doubtful.
It had taken a bit more persuasion, but her Dad had finally agreed to give her the money, and her Mom made her promise she would go to the city hospital rather than give birth in a hut in a village. It was the argument that the trip would be educational as well as fun that had done the trick for Dad. He would just work 60 hours a week for the next year, instead of his usual 40, to make up for the cost of the trip. In the end, he was happy to do it. “She is 18 now, after all,” he said to her Mom.
But when she’d told her new husband, Barack didn’t understand.
“Ann,” he said. “You know that I’m in school this entire session and I can’t take this trip with you. Besides, I don’t want to. Don’t you know that I have a wife back in Kenya? This could be troublesome. I don’t think you want to do this. Besides, where will you get the money?”
“Oh, it’s all arranged!” she replied. “And I can’t wait to meet your family!”
“Well… why don’t you wait until some time when I can come with you? And why don’t you wait until AFTER the baby is born? That will not be long. That would make a great deal more sense, you know.”
“Don’t be silly, Barack. I want to go now!”
“Okay. Well, I’ll contact my stepmother for you. In Africa, women are always happy to have a stepson’s wife come and stay in their home for a couple of weeks. Even if they’ve never met the woman before.”
And so she had hopped on the plane. At 8-1/2 months pregnant, she was having a bit of difficulty getting around, but it would be all right. Weighing an extra 30 pounds seemed to somehow energize her. And everyone was soooo helpful.
She left Honolulu at 930 am on Wednesday, July 12th. It was fun to fly over the ocean. Since she was traveling east on a 707, the time seemed to fly by. They even landed in San Francisco a bit early, at 5:25 pm. She had about a 6-1/2 hour layover in the airport, but Ann didn’t mind. There was a nice old lady that she talked to for nearly an hour.
By the time Ann’s plane left for New York around midnight, she was feeling a bit tired. Fortunately, the airplane seats were comfortable and she promptly dozed off.
“Breakfast!” said the stewardess. Ann opened her eyes. She had only gotten four hours of off-and-on sleep — it was about 7 am Thursday morning on the East Coast, and the plane was getting close to New York. But oddly, she felt refreshed. “I’ll have orange juice with mine!” she said to the stewardess.
When the plane landed in New York, all passengers had to get off for a while. It would be an hour and a half before the trip across her second ocean.
She made London about 10 o’clock on Thursday night. There had been a slight delay in taking off. By the time she got through Customs and Immigration, it was 11:30 pm. But Daddy had sprung for a hotel in London, so she found a taxi. England was exciting!
Since Stanley Ann’s flight to Africa didn’t leave until after 3pm on Friday, she was able to sleep in the next morning. When she could sleep, due to the jet lag. She also got to see a little bit of London — not much, but enough to give her a taste of the place.
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By 7:15 Friday night, Ann was in Rome. Her airplane made Khartoum, in Sudan, about 4 o’clock the next morning. She was awake during this time because her body was so confused over the time change. Never mind. She’d get used to it.
She had breakfast before they landed at the Entebbe airport — where was that? Uganda? Stanley Ann dozed off when she could, and tried to get some decent sleep.
Finally, at noon on Saturday — Nairobi!
It was one o’clock when she finally got through Immigration — and there she was! Mama Sarah, her husband’s stepmother, waiting for her at the airport, just like she had said she would!
“So how was your trip, honey?” Mama Sarah asked, in flawless English. “We are soooo excited to see you! I mean, we’ve never met you before. And you’re awfully white. But if my stepson Barack likes you, we do too!”
“So how far is it to Kogelo?” Ann asked.
“Oh, don’t worry, honey,” Mama Sarah reassured her. It’s only about 200 miles. And there’s a new bus that goes direct!”
And what a great trip the entire visit was. A whirlwind tour of relatives she’d never met! And Barack’s other wife seemed nice, too, and didn’t seem to mind that her husband was having a baby with Ann.
And then the labor pains. Oh, my gosh! That was intense. And the 200-mile drive back to Nariobi, to give birth… They had managed to persuade a missionary to drive her. What an adventure! But there were places where the road was pretty good. So they made decent time. It only took about 7 hours. Much shorter, and nicer, than the bus ride up, with all the crazy driving, the stops and starts in African villages, the clucking chickens, and the little girl throwing up in the seat behind her…
And then, of course, inevitably, came the day to return to Honolulu. How she would miss Africa! And the trip seemed a bit long, with a days-old baby.
But once again, everyone was helpful. And this time it only took 3 days, instead of 4! Baby Barack was so good. He slept most of the time, and hardly ever cried.
And when the plane at last touched down in Honolulu, there was her husband, and her parents, at the airport to meet her. She would want a Hawaiian birth certificate for the baby, of course. But her parents knew a baby doctor — Dr. Sinclair — who would write one out for her. Falsifying that shouldn’t be a problem. Oh, and they were also friends with an English teacher at the high school, who would say that she remembered the birth if there were any problems.
“How was your trip, honey?” Barack asked. “And hey! Let me see my baby. Let me see my son!”
He smiled, and the three of them swarmed happily around her.
* This story is absolutely “True,” in the Birther sense of the word — that is, it supports the Birther belief system, without any regard whatsoever for whether it is factual, in line with reality, or has any likelihood whatsoever of having actually happened. The story has already won several distinguished awards from very, very important authorities, and has been used to fuel an infinite improbability drive for a starship run from Earth to Vega.
Update: “American Mzungu” gives some personal insight into travel in Africa, in this post over at ObamaConspiracy.org.
Note: See also the first comment, below, for a bit more serious discussion about why the idea of Stanley Ann Dunham Obama traveling to Kenya and giving birth to her son there is so far-fetched as to be nothing more than a political fantasy.
Obviously, the point of this bit of fiction is to dig up a few facts, and explore a bit of what one would have to believe in order to believe the birther tale that Obama was “possibly” born in Kenya.
There are many reasons why this idea is not just implausible, but ludicrously so — in spite of any rumors among African villagers that the future President was born in their country (Obama Jr., not Obama Sr. who was indeed born in Kenya), and in spite of our collection of alleged “Kenyan birth certificates” that are either verified fakes, or produced by a guy with a history of convictions for forgery.
Among these reasons are:
* First of all, just consider how wildly implausible this story would be, even TODAY, when international travel is far more routine, and medical systems around the world are far more advanced than they were in 1961.
Imagine your daughter marries a foreign exchange student from… doesn’t have to be Kenya, but could be. In any event, some fairly impoverished foreign nation. Cambodia, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Uganda.
And she plans a trip to her husband’s country of birth, ALONE, where she personally knows absolutely NOBODY, while she’s going to be eight months pregnant.
Alone, because her husband can’t go with her. And she does so knowing that she’s going to be eight months pregnant and may actually give birth in the foreign country, away from her husband and family.
And she does this at 18 years old.
It’s just not plausible, even today. But back in 1961…
Anyway, read on for more reasons & elaboration of why this is nothing more than a fantasy.
* It was really, hugely expensive to take a trip to Kenya in 1961 — especially from Hawaii. People didn’t do it just for fun. Actually, how many people do you know who’ve done it just for fun since the year 2000? Probably not many.
* It’s clear that Obama, Sr. didn’t have the funds to finance such a trip. He is known to have been so cash-strapped he could barely make it as a student. His 18-year-old wife wouldn’t have had the funds. His family members were poor, too. The only possible place the money could’ve come from would’ve been Stanley Ann’s parents. And I’m sure they were really eager to spend what would’ve probably been about 6 months’ income to send their 18-year-old daughter off to East Africa all alone, with no sponsors and nobody she even knew in the country. I mean, you’d do that for your 18-year-old daughter, wouldn’t you?
* We know that Obama Sr. was enrolled in school leading up to his son’s birth, and was also present in the US a few weeks after his son was born. Other records indicate he was away from Kenya for seven years. So he simply didn’t go to Africa during this time period. And the idea of an 18-year-old white girl making a trip to East Africa in 1961, all by herself, is pretty ludicrous.
* The trip would’ve taken 3 to 4 days just in travel time — each way. For an 18-year-old young white woman to make this trip, by herself, and heavily pregnant, to meet people she didn’t know, without her husband to introduce them to her, makes no sense at all.
* The idea that a woman who is at least about 8 months pregnant is going to willingly undertake an airplane journey lasting 3 to 4 days of jet-lag travel — in each direction — is, to put it mildly, unlikely.
* Even if Stanley Ann Obama been willing to make the trip, and had the money, why not wait until after the baby was born? That would allow relatives in Africa to actually see the baby. And it would actually give her husband the opportunity to see his newborn child.
* The suggestion that she would’ve gone to East Africa with the specific intent to have a baby there, in a 3rd-World hospital among total strangers whose grasp of English might be tenuous, rather than in Honolulu, with the support of the American medical system and her family, friends and husband, is similarly ludicrous.
* So, too, is the idea of flying halfway across the world with a baby a few days old; or of taking the risk of having to do so — especially in 1961. Our family once took a day trip just from England to Paris, with a bunch of family members to help out, with a baby that was only a few days old. We took the high-speed train through the Channel Tunnel. That was a day trip, with both parents and extra relatives along. And that was living a bit on the edge — in Europe, not Africa — just a dozen years ago.
* The article above characterizes “Mama Sarah” as speaking flawless English. The fact is, she doesn’t speak English at all, and barely even speaks Swahili. This means that even native Kenyans who don’t happen to speak her particular tribe’s language (Luo) need to find a translator in order to converse with her. Who else would Stanley Ann Obama have been there to visit? Obama Sr’s actual mother? She had divorced Barack Obama Sr’s dad way back in 1945, when Obama Sr. was still a kid. In any practical terms, there wouldn’t really have been anyone for Stanley Ann Obama even to visit. And remember, she personally knew none of these people, anyway.
* People seem to think that Mama Sarah was hanging around Nairobi. Kogelo is 200 miles away from the capital. And in Africa, that means something. Often even today. By the way, the photo of the dirt road to Kogelo that I included with this article isn’t from 50 years ago — it’s very recent. Who knows what that road looked like in 1961?
Even with this list, I don’t claim to have exhausted the ludicrous and frankly idiotic things one has to believe in order to accept this scenario. We haven’t even touched, for example, on the unlikeliness of getting some Hawaiian birth certificate — obviously not the one we’ve seen, because that one had to be faked recently — on the basis of false information, or of finding a high school English teacher — either in 1961 or 2011 — who would 50 years later testify that she remembered hearing about Obama, Jr’s birth in Honolulu at the time.
In short, the idea that Stanley Ann Dunham traveled to Kenya and had her baby there is about as likely as the stories that Obama was identified as a future President and briefed in advance by a top-secret CIA time-travel project.
And of course, the birther response to all of this is, “Yes, but…”
And that, my friend, is the birther response to everything.
In the birther world, facts don’t matter. The unreasonableness and even sheer stupidity of any fantasized scenario simply does not matter.
Because in the birther world, all evidence to the contrary, Barack Obama simply must have been born outside of the United States.
Lovely, fun story!
“In the birther world, facts don’t matter.”
The only “facts” that matter to birthers are ones that fit their beliefs. They fear and, therefore, hate, the president to much to accept him as one of us. The various hypotheses they’ve put forth regarding President Obama’s eligibility are simple wild-ass guesses. Wishful/magical thinking, if you will.
Speculation of how something COULD happen is not proof the same DID happen.
In the end, all of it is garbage and Occam’s razor applies.
Hilarious. I’m sure it happened just like you say.
This is excellent; thank you!
Great story but you left out the time and discomfort involved in getting the immunizations months in advance since they wouldn’t immunize a pregnant woman.
There is also the need to get the baby immunized prior to the return flight.
Has there been an estimate as to how old a child would need to be before they could get the required immunizations for international travel from Africa, through Europe, and into the U.S?
I believe that I read (somewhere on the Fogbow) that a baby would have required documentation of a yellow fever vaccination to enter the US. No idea how old he would have needed to be to get vaccinated (I suspect that the answer wouldn’t have been a few days, though…).
A quick search reveals Kenya is right in the middle of yellow fever country, and August is peak season. Currently, babies under 6 months are NOT to be vaccinated.
This doesn’t necessarily say that babies weren’t vaccinated in 1961 (although it looks extremely doubtful) or that young Obama would have been denied travel to the US. If you can document that, though, that would be fatal to the theory.
I mean, all the facts above are pretty much fatal. But if babies just couldn’t get into the US from Kenya at that time, that would be like the final nail in the coffin of the theory.
OK — word on the web is that apparently prior to September 1992, there was no record of yellow fever in Kenya. So probably this can’t be counted as a real factor.
However, there are plenty of reasons to regard the entire scenario as completely ludicrous without having a yellow fever factor in the mix.
This might be a good time to note that unlike the birthers, we’re not trumping up a bunch of nonsense and BS. The absolute truth speaks quite loudly enough for itself.
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It matters not where he was born. The fact is that his father was a Kenyan and never an American citizen, and that alone disqualifies him.
The SCOTUS case that defined what a Natural Born Citizen is was Minor v. Happersett (1875): A child born in the country to citizen parentS. PARENTS. That’s plural. This decision has never been overturned.
Look it up.
Simply not true, Sue.
1) The entire totality of evidence makes it clear that the Founding Fathers and Framers of the Constitution had reference not to Swiss philosopher Vattel, but to the English common law, from which the phrase “natural born citizen” derived. Under rules that were in place from ancient times, all children born on the soil were natural born subjects or citizens, without regard to the citizenship of their parents — unless they were children of ambassadors or invading armies.
2) Minor v. Happersett (1875) quite clearly establishes no definition as to the meaning of “natural born citizen.” Even if it did establish such a definition (which it doesn’t), any such definition was completely unnecessary to the determination of the case, and as such would merely have been non-binding dicta. And even if it weren’t dicta (which it would have been), any such statement would have been overruled in 1898 by the Supreme Court in United States v. Wong Kim Ark.
3) The Supreme Court in US v Wong Kim Ark (1898) clearly found that Wong Kim Ark, born in San Francisco of parents who were not and never could become US citizens, was himself both “natural born” and a citizen. They made two separate and clear statements in their 6-2 ruling that absolutely establish that they found Wong Kim Ark to be “natural born.” This finding — that Wong Kim Ark, born on US soil of non-citizen parents — was a natural born citizen, was part of the core reasoning, the ratio decidendi, of the case. As such, it IS binding precedent. The Justices also mentioned Presidential eligibility in the case, displaying that they fully understood the ramifications of their ruling.
Yes, the United States Supreme Court has already ruled: Having citizen parents is NOT required for the status of “natural born citizen,” of for Presidential eligibility.
You have been sold a bill of goods by shifty word-twisters in plaid suits, and you bought it — hook, line and sinker.
I will probably be publishing more information on the “natural born citizen” claims soon, Sue. Keep an eye out for it. It will be factual, honest, and informative.
That’s really a fantastic story for all who loves Romans. First of all the whole story is a fiction. I’ve never read such a chain of stupid alledged facts. No rasonably refined human flew (in the 60’s!) 8.5 month pregnant couple of days across the world to meet someone you don’t know. To don’t know how to come back with a newborn child which maybe could come to birth during the trip (in an age of 18 years!). Furthermore no parents which really love the only child they have would let it happend that the own daughter, high pregnant, goes to a country which is provided in the middle of the independant riots. It’s sad to have such stupid laws in the States and it’s sad to have people they tink they are patriots when they write such nonsense. But the worst about it is they always find people who are dumb enough to take it for real and spend money for. Anyway it really doesn’t matter. And would be take the fiction as a true, would it maks him to a different President???
I’m guessing English is your second language? Anyway, what you said is correct. That’s really the point of this entire ridiculous article. 😉