Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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April 21, 2010 - MidWeek
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Editors’s note: Never has one MidWeek column generated as many letters as Jerry Coffee’s “Is Obama Hiding The Truth Of His Birth?” in the April 14 issue. Here is a representative sampling, though many more letters of protest and complaint were received than there is space to publish. And, yes, we received exactly one letter in support of Mr. Coffee’s position.

Kamaaina insult

Jerry Coffee’s claim that the birth certificate issued to Barack Obama’s by the state of Hawaii is not legitimate is an insult to every person in this state who was issued the same, exact type of certificate, and to parents who were issued such certificates for their Hawaii-born children.

I have always respected Mr. Coffee for his service to our country, but he has blown through that capital with this hateful and nonsensical column. Why does MidWeek continue to carry his writing? Just asking.

Aaron Yamada


It’s unbelievable that so-called “journalist” Jerry Coffee is still obsessing with the non-issue of Obama’s birth. And why should I take him seriously when he does-n’t even bother to check his facts, or chooses to ignore them altogether? Just asking.

Does Mr. Coffee really want us to believe that Obama’s parents, then both enrolled at UH and presumably struggling financially, would fly from Hawaii to Kenya so that his mother could give birth in a Third World country, then return? Just asking.

Craig Okino

Just asking

“Just asking,” sneers Jerry Coffee at the end of every “birther” innuendo he drops about President Obama in his column.

“Just asking” is a passive-aggressive way of dropping a nasty hint without making a forthright statement - or going to the library to check the facts. It’s the kind of thing a mean little girl would say. Isn’t anybody left in the conservative movement besides mean little girls? Just asking.

Jonathan Morse

A disappointment

I’ve always considered Jerry Coffee a patriot, but now I see him as a hypocrite. If his buddy John McCain had been elected president, would Mr. Coffee be calling for him to resign because McCain was not “natural-born” in the U.S., but in the Panama Canal Zone? I somehow doubt it.

It’s embarrassing for a man of Mr. Coffee’s stature to be throwing a public tantrum like a child at the supermarket whose mother won’t let him have candy. Sorry to say, Mr. Coffee is a great disappointment.

Amy Ornellas

Facts all wrong

I don’t have time to research everything Jerry Coffee says, but one howling factual error leapt off the page. Mr. Coffee writes: “In 1967, when Barack Obama Sr. took little Barry from Hawaii to Indonesia, he enrolled him in a Muslim madras there.”

Here’s the reality: Obama’s mother and Barack Obama Sr. married in 1961, separated in 1963 and divorced in 1964 when Obama was 2-and-a-half years old. Barack Obama Sr. remarried and returned to Kenya in 1965, visiting Obama in Hawaii only once, in 1971.

Obama Sr. had nothing to do with Obama’s move to Indonesia as a child. After the divorce, Obama’s mother also remarried, to Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, who was attending college in Hawaii. In 1967, she and Soetoro and Obama moved to Indonesia, where Obama lived for four years before returning to live with his grandparents in Hawaii and attend Punahou.

If Mr. Coffee can’t get a little detail like this straight, especially when accusing others of obfuscation, what can he get straight?

Kind of embarrassing for MidWeek too, yeah?

Walter Wright


Note to Jerry Coffee: Get your facts straight, sir. First, a Muslim school is called a “madrassa,” not a “madras.” That is a fabric print, as well as a city in India. Second, independent research shows his mother and stepfather enrolled young Barry Obama in a secular school in Indonesia.

When a person consistently gets facts wrong - remember Mr. Coffee’s Latin American geography gaffe? - a reasonable person must question everything he says. I have lost faith in Mr. Coffee’s ability to discern the truth, much less tell it.

Some might say MidWeek is complicit in his treason.

James Stephens


It is inconceivable to me that MidWeek would allow Jerry Coffee space to spread the ideas/lies that our president may not have been born an American citizen. Free speech comes with the responsibility to tell the truth. News organizations have that same responsibility. I have no intention of taking away Mr. Coffee’s free speech, but his lies should never be relayed in the print press.

Bob Lloyd
Ewa Beach

A few facts

Instead of “just asking,” perhaps Jerry Coffee should be “just fact-checking.”

Fact 1: I have copies of original “birth certificates” for family members from three states (California, Tennessee and Hawaii), and one territory (Hawaii), spanning 80 years. They are each titled “Certificate of Live Birth.”

Fact 2: The term “Live Birth” is used to distinguish the event from a “Still Birth.” (I also have a copy of a “Certificate of Still Birth.”)

Fact 3: Both of my grandchildren were born at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu (I was present for both births, so I know where they took place!). The only “birth certificate” they have ever received from the state of Hawaii happens to look exactly like President Obama’s “Certificate of Live Birth.”

Fact 4: Barack Obama was never enrolled in a madrassa - the madrassa myth was de-bunked by real journalists two years ago.

Fact 5: Even if his mother took Indonesian citizenship for her 6-year-old son, which is extremely unlikely (I think the U.S would consider him too young to renounce U.S. citizenship on his own), dual U.S. citizenship for natural-born citizens has been allowed since 1967 (Afroyim v. Rusk).

Christl Coleman
East Honolulu

Wasted space

I was shocked and surprised to see that you would waste valuable space and resources on an issue that has been put to rest repeatedly by state officials in Hawaii, where the birth certificate and all other credible evidence show that Obama was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961.

Giving space to this ridiculous “birther issue” by association makes MidWeek look as stupid as the people who continue on the Birther campaign.

Ana Murray

Why stonewall?

Jerry Coffee dared pose questions about President Obama’s past that many consider “off limits” both in Hawaii and on the Mainland.

Unfortunately, some Obama supporters are prone to smearing Mr. Coffee and others who ask reasonable questions about Obama’s past - a past that remains largely hidden.

Why would some Americans not care if their president may not be a “natural born citizen” - one of only two requirements under the Constitution for that office?

It beats me, because the Constitution is what assures the United States is a nation based on laws instead of the whims of personalities.

So why do they attack Mr. Coffee and those who seek only transparency?

Why aren’t they demanding the truth instead of helping President Obama to stonewall this fundamental Constitutional question?

I hope that those who are avid Obama supporters will eventually come to believe that President Obama needs to make public his original birth certificate instead of spending millions of dollars to keep it hidden.

Michael P. Rethman

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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Most Recent Comment(s):

Through the years of reading Jerry Coffee’s column we learn things about his past and much about his service to our country. Jerry is a true American hero, one who has paid more than any should be asked to do. A POW, an honorable soldier, one who has sacrificed his life and safety and will never get back the years of torture and time in the hands of an enemy the world feared being a victim of and Jerry survived it all. If there anything shocking about Jerry is that through it all he still remained a gentlemen and patriot. To you shmucks out there, you ignoramus self serving imprudent unAmerican commentators: I say to you in defiance of your ugly remarks - if there is anyone who has the right to question our president, our policies, our government - it’s Jerry Coffee! Defender of our country, American hero, paid with his own bloodl for the right to be an American, the right to an opinion, the right to question any president especially one who hasn’t served in defending this county in time of war. The real question we should be asking about Obama’s presidency is why does he have the world record for the most amount of golf time when we are at war, economic disaster, worst unemployment, hated by the world and a country being torn apart by the very people we voted to protect us. Why is it so important to be golfing 3 - 4 times a week?

Johnny Kai

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