Chuck Norris

But Hawaii officials confirmed again last week that they indeed have your original birth certificate on file. Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, repeated her October 2008 statement that she had seen with her own eyes the "original vital records."

Some claim that even you cannot see or request your own personal birth certificate because Hawaii's disclosure law (Hawaii Revised Statutes 338-18) states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record."

But the law further states that Hawaii's Health Department "shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record" (emphasis added).

Isn't categorically satisfying constitutional requirements for a president or answering the First Amendment grievances of hundreds of thousands of Americans or ending a national debate or healing a country's divisions enough "direct and tangible interest"?

Mr. President, as more and more people realize that you are refusing to release your original birth certificate, further questions will fuel the fires of debate or at least hinder the embers from ever being snuffed out. Questions such as, "Does it really contain the Hawaiian physician's name?" "Does it disclose something other than his birthplace that he wishes others not to see?"

Of course, not every U.S. citizen has access to his original birth certificate, but you do, and yours is the only one under debate. As valuable as copies can be, textual critics know that nothing outweighs an original, especially when only it contains the information under question.

Again, why don't you simply request, release and give permission to make public your original birth certificate?

Mr. President, you promised the American people that you are "committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government." In fact, in your July 23 prime-time news conference, you said that your administration has been more transparent than previous administrations: "I think that we have provided much greater transparency than existed prior to our administration coming in."

So again, I ask: Why not live out that transparency promise by posting your original birth certificate and end the division and debate?

Well, I have a birthday to plan, so I had better get going.

Again, happy birthday, Mr. President.

Yours Truly, Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is a columnist and impossible to kill.