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Another crackpot document analysis

Crackpot image analysis seem to be a recurring theme in the Obama Conspiracy Theories world, and the Post & Email blog touts another one in its article: Original Certificate of Live Birth from Hawaii is different from Obama’s COLB by Sharon Rondeau.

Since the basic premise, that Obama’s COLB is a fake, is false the analysis cannot be true, and if not true flawed, and if flawed likely to be hard for a logical person to follow. Let us, nevertheless, take a stab at it.

The Post & Email claims to have an authentic Hawaiian birth certificate for someone born in 1981. That’s not an implausible claim. However, they use some slight of hand to try to make something appear odd. First the certificate they show appears to have features of the 2010 revision which is known to be different from what was issued in 2007 when the President’s was printed.

The P&E says the President’s certificate says “Certification of Live Birth” and their says “Certificate of Live Birth.” That’s exactly what one would expect to see since Hawaii changed the wording between 2007 and 2010, as proven by numerous examples of “Certifications” and press accounts. Their other differences are:

  • More information about parents. Since this second certificate is from a different form revision, and multiple examples of certificates just like Obama’s exist, the difference (assuming the P&E certificate is true) means nothing. However, we have an example of a hot-off-the press Hawaiian COLB that does not have the extra fields the P&E shows on their example. This at least calls into question the authenticity of the P&E version, although there are scenarios where it might be true.
  • Visible certificate number. This is totally silly. Obama’s certificate as shown by FactCheck.org has a certificate number too.
  • Onaka’s stamp: Same as on Obama’s.
  • Raised seal visible from both sides. Same as Obama’s although his is fainter.
  • No bleed through. Must have less ink.

They cite Hawaiian law about late certificates, but fail to mention the other provision in the law that requires such certificated to be marked as such:

§338-16  Procedure concerning late and altered birth certificates. (a)  Birth certificates registered one year or more after the date of birth, and certificates which have been altered after being filed with the department of health, shall contain the date of the late filing and the date of the alteration and be marked distinctly “late” or “altered”.

Then the conspiracy theory kicks in, what they call “Passportgate” but that’s another story for another time.

The Post & Email introduces us to another “photographic expert,” John F. Sweeney. One immediately asks, “who the hell is John F. Sweeney and what makes him an expert?” The Post & Email give no hint about either of those pertinent questions.

Sweeney’s analysis consists more of looking at scanning and photographic flaws than image analysis:

  • The smudge on the scanner plate, visible in all of the scanned copies of the Obama COLB
  • Imperfections (tiny dots) on the digital camera photos from FactCheck.org don’t appear on the scans. (If you’ve ever scanned photos you’ve seen stuff like this many times.)
  • The one really blurry photo from FactCheck.org doesn’t show the raised seal, which Sweeny admits was a hand-held photo taken at 1/60 sec without flash.

Sweeney throws out such lies as “it is well-documented that [Daily KOS certificate] image is almost certainly a fake.”

Note: At least for me, clicking on some of the images on the P&E pages didn’t work. What I had to do in FireFox was to right-click on the image and select “Copy Link Location,” paste that into the browser address bar and go to that page, where there was an image I could click on to view the larger version.

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10 Responses to Another crackpot document analysis

  1. avatar
    Sef July 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Dr. C., since you are using Firefox I suggest you try the “Image Zoom” addon which makes viewing images much easier.

  2. avatar
    richCares July 18, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Post and Fails says this about their COLB report:
    “IF YOU LIKED THIS REPORT, CLICK HERE TO DONATE $1”
    suggestion: send in a Phony Dollar
    .
    Birther sites love to ask for money. and the gullibles do.
    Ringling says gullibles = suckers

  3. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) July 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    richCares: Post and Fails says this about their COLB report:
    “IF YOU LIKED THIS REPORT, CLICK HERE TO DONATE $1‘
    suggestion: send in a Phony Dollar
    .
    Birther sites love to ask for money. and the gullibles do.
    Ringling says gullibles = suckers

    Rich, Bob and I have been spending a bit of time looking at The Citizen paper site from Tanzinia. It’s amazing how many of the same falsehoods keep popping up, off the top of my head I’ve heard the following:

    Obama’s grandmother falsely registered his birth
    Stanley Obama’s asia travels are suspicious
    The COLB is a known fraud
    Two citizen rule
    Vatel
    Kenyan Officials say he was born there
    Obama’s step-grandmother says she was present when born
    John McCain released his birth certificate
    Other presidents have proven their birth more than Obama
    Lots of copy and pastes from WND, Apuzzo, Post&Email

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Rich, Bob and I have been spending a bit of time looking at The Citizen paper site from Tanzinia. It’s amazing how many of the same falsehoods keep popping up

    The Citizen is “owned” by Mwananchi Communications Ltd.

    Mwananchi has a FaceBook page. They now are a subsidiary of The Nation Media Group, which is the group that publishes “The Nation”, the well-known Kenyan paper that has no Obama conspiracy content.

  5. avatar
    Hawaiiborn July 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Also other standouts:

    1) the image on P&E is black and white, and we are not offered the original scan

    2) they didn’t bother to provide the back of the COLB, which would show the date stamp (so that we can see when it was requested or sent)

    3) Miyuki Booth had published the COLB of her son for American Grand Jury a few months back, and was posted to the P&E
    http://www.thepostemail.com/2010/02/10/ok-candidate-releases-sons-1981-hawaiian-certification-of-birth/

  6. avatar
    AnotherBird July 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Why didn’t I stop reading the Post & Email blog at “There is a visible certificate number at the top, while Obama’s is blacked out.”? They still engage in “word play.” Their logic is very loopy. The accept a document with the number “blacked out,” but suggest a document is fake because the number is “blacked out.”

  7. avatar
    FUTTHESHUCKUP July 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    Forging a Hawaiian birth certificate is a violation of Hawaiian law. Birthers fail to realize that If there was any truth to their bogus claims, Hawaii would have done something about it by now. But of course, we all know that their loony explanation will be that the whole state of Hawaii is covering for the president

  8. avatar
    Lupin July 19, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Racists only need to have their inner conviction that a n*** can’t possibly be president affirmed; it’s worth $1 to them to restore their view of a “sane” world.

  9. avatar
    AnotherBird July 19, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    FUTTHESHUCKUP: Forging a Hawaiian birth certificate is a violation of Hawaiian law. Birthers fail to realize that If there was any truth to their bogus claims, Hawaii would have done something about it by now. But of course, we all know that their loony explanation will be that the whole state of Hawaii is covering for the president

    That is what makes birthers arguments baffling. With a forged Hawaiian birth certificate, the state of Hawaii can prove that they have been harmed. Also, it is a federal crime. Hawaii would be the first to sue if a person had a forged birth certificate.

    Birthers are loony there don’t realize the implications of what they are suggesting. They remind me of a chess player who only thinks of their current move and nothing more.

  10. avatar
    DP July 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    AnotherBird: Birthers are loony there don’t realize the implications of what they are suggesting. They remind me of a chess player who only thinks of their current move and nothing more.

    And here I thought they were tiddly-winks players trying to figure out how to do that on a chess board.