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Arduini v. Zebest

Frank Arduini has written a comprehensive refutation of the birth certificate claims of author Mara Zebest, who was author of the graphic analysis published by the Joe Arpaio Cold Case Posse. Zebest is an expert on Adobe Photoshop software, but apparently unfamiliar with the software used to scan Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate, Quartz PDF Context.

Now’s a good time to take a look at Frank’s work.

Response to Zebest

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33 Responses to Arduini v. Zebest

  1. avatar
    richCares March 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Thanks, I enjoyed reading this, I heard him on RC radio (The debate whre the birther did not show up)

  2. avatar
    John March 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Frank doesn’t have the qualifications. Again, just another Obot giving his opinion. No value here.

  3. avatar
    Jim March 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Well, John, then let’s apply the same standards to the accusers. Just another birther giving his/her opinion, no value here. No evidence, no clue, and no idea what they’re talking about.

  4. avatar
    sactosintolerant March 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    John:
    Frank doesn’t have the qualifications.Again, just another Obot giving his opinion.No value here.

    What are the qualifications for PDF analysis again? Having used an Adobe application? Selling scanners? Being a serial conspiracy theorist?

  5. avatar
    Jim March 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    BTW John, let’s keep applying your standards. Who are the experts on Hawaii Records, why Hawaii is! And they say the President is born there. Who are the experts on citizenship and whether the President is eligible? Why Judges and hearing officials! And each and every single one say the President is eligible! My gosh John, we’ve heard from the experts and all agree, the President is eligible! Isn’t that just amazing!

  6. avatar
    Gary Miller March 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading this, Doc. Thanks. And thanks for all your columns.

  7. avatar
    John March 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Doc C claims Sheriff Joe and his team are lying. Well, maybe they are lying just like Hawaii is lying about Obama and his birth records.

  8. avatar
    bernadineayers March 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    At the most fundamental level, the simple act of scanning

    is digital alteration.

    interesting… this was going to be my opening argument for the little trap fogbow set for me with the high school debate format that frank picked, that doc and other obots showed up for within minutes.

    how can something be a digital “alteration” if it’s not already “digital”. doesn’t he mean “conversion”.?

    i know in audio there is great distinction between analog and digital.

    and while we’re at it… how come the “high resolution” copy is of better quality better than the “original”. which isn’t even an original, but a “pdf” which should be pristine.

  9. avatar
    sactosintolerant March 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    bernadineayers:
    and while we’re at it… how come the “high resolution” copy is of better quality better than the “original”. which isn’t even an original, but a “pdf” which should be pristine.

    I don’t want to spoil it for you, but with this question, you COULD be coming close to being an anti-birther!

  10. avatar
    bernadineayers March 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    sactosintolerant: I don’t want to spoil it for you, but with this question, you COULD be coming close to being an anti-birther!

    fluff

  11. avatar
    G March 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    FIFY.

    John: Mara Zebest doesn’t have the qualifications. Again, just another deranged Birther giving her opinion. No value here.

  12. avatar
    BillTheCat March 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    John: Doc C claims Sheriff Joe and his team are lying. Well, maybe they are lying just like Hawaii is lying about Obama and his birth records.

    blahblahblah… So many posts that say basically nothing.

    Still waiting for you to explain why none of you can win a single court case – you know, where it matters.

  13. avatar
    G March 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Go for it John. Push Arpaio to finally do what he kept weaseling away from doing yesterday – accuse the HI DOH of lying. Because yes, that is really what all of his insinuations point to.

    Why do you think Arpaio was so desperate to hold back from doing that? Because even he knows he would be toast if he tried… and severely subject to slander and libel charges, if they even deemed him worthy enough of pushing back…

    Why don’t you make that first step for him John? Come on you coward, put your money where your mouth is and file a suit against the HI DOH using Sheriff Joe’s “findings”…

    I dare ya…

    John: Doc C claims Sheriff Joe and his team are lying. Well, maybe they are lying just like Hawaii is lying about Obama and his birth records.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    FYI, Bernadine is Scott Erlandson that bailed out of the debate with Arduini at RC Radio last week.

    I believe that’s FRANK PICKED AND YOU AGREED TO.

    bernadineayers: this was going to be my opening argument for the little trap fogbow set for me with the high school debate format that frank picked,

  15. avatar
    G March 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    You are nothing but a pathetic and vile coward, Scott.

    YOU were the one who asked for a debate with Frank. RC was kind enough to give that to you. But when it came time to do it, you couldn’t hack it and chickened out and went into hiding for a few days, only to pop up and sling poo as a stupid and craven excuse.

    All you can do is cravenly cower behind your keyboard, where you are “safe” and can pretend to be a human being. You are nothing but a snivelling and damaged turd without a backbone.

    So, keep talking from your hidey-hole. It is the only act you’ve got, you piss-pants toad.

    bernadineayers: interesting… this was going to be my opening argument for the little trap fogbow set for me with the high school debate format that frank picked, that doc and other obots showed up for within minutes.

  16. avatar
    Arthur March 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    G: You are nothing but a pathetic and vile coward, Scott.
    YOU were the one who asked for a debate with Frank. RC was kind enough to give that to you. But when it came time to do it, you couldn’t hack it and chickened out and went into hiding for a few days, only to pop up and sling poo as a stupid and craven excuse.

    G, this was what I was thinking, too.

  17. avatar
    BillTheCat March 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Haha “high school debate format” – considering your maturity level in this situation (“haha I ‘punked’ Reality Check”) I’m not convinced you know anything about high school level debates. Elementary school, more likely.

    Just another chickensht birther taking pot shots on the internets.

  18. avatar
    bovril March 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    I love the smell of …chicken in the evening…..it smells like victory….again

  19. avatar
    bovril March 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Oh and I forget to mention to our Birfoons, being a contrubuter to a book on a very very old version of Adobe Photoshop a period of 10, 11 and 12 years ago does not make Mara an expert in, well, anything.

  20. avatar
    euphgeek March 2, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    bovril:
    Oh and I forget to mention to our Birfoons, being a contrubuter to a book on a very very old version of Adobe Photoshop a period of 10, 11 and 12 years ago does not make Mara an expert in, well, anything.

    Not to mention her complete failure to do something as basic as right-clicking on a document and selecting “Properties” in order to see what program was used. That alone should disqualify any “expert testimony” she gives.

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    Does that make me an expert?

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/06/wnd-trots-out-yet-another-adobe-expert/

    euphgeek: Not to mention her complete failure to do something as basic as right-clicking on a document and selecting “Properties” in order to see what program was used

  22. avatar
    euphgeek March 2, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Does that make me an expert?

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/06/wnd-trots-out-yet-another-adobe-expert/

    Certainly more of one than Zebest as far as basic Windows functions go.

  23. avatar
    gorefan March 3, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    John: Frank doesn’t have the qualifications. Again, just another Obot giving his opinion. No value here.

    Mara Zebest said this about then Senator Obama,

    “LOL! It’s what I live for… my goal to make him a mockery of the very crowd he seeks for adulation.” July 25, 2008 @ 5:16 p.m.

    http://blog.pumapac.org/2008/07/25/cupcake-or-turnips/

    She was not unbiased in her analysis sas you say there is no value to it. Her analysis was written by a birther.

  24. avatar
    naturalizedcitizen March 3, 2012 at 4:00 am #

    Where is the video created by Mr Frank Arduini where he demonstrates the use of Quartz PDF Context program to create layers that resemble creation shown on Obama’s “.pdf” file?

    If he is an expert he ought to be able to demonstrate how optimization process in this program creates intelligent layers that contain dates and registrar’s stamp in nice self-contained layers. He should be also able to demonstrate that security paper in the background is shown in only one layer separate from the rest of the document.

    Can he do it? What is he waiting for?
    Arpaio’s investigation gave very specific explanation that contradicts claims that this is a genuine electronic file.

  25. avatar
    G March 3, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    *yawn* Who cares?

    The PDF nonsense has always been nothing more than a failed Birther red-herring.

    The HI DOH authenticated and produced 2 paper copies. A reporter touched and took a photo of them. The HI DOH stands by that the image on the White House website is what they produced.

    Arguing about scanned images is nothing but a pointless and failed Birther dodge. Give it up, you’re argument is dead and was lost a long time ago.

    naturalizedcitizen: Where is the video created by Mr Frank Arduini where he demonstrates the use of Quartz PDF Context program to create layers that resemble creation shown on Obama’s “.pdf” file?If he is an expert he ought to be able to demonstrate how optimization process in this program creates intelligent layers that contain dates and registrar’s stamp in nice self-contained layers. He should be also able to demonstrate that security paper in the background is shown in only one layer separate from the rest of the document.Can he do it? What is he waiting for?Arpaio’s investigation gave very specific explanation that contradicts claims that this is a genuine electronic file.

  26. avatar
    richCares March 3, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    “*yawn* Who cares?”
    ditto from me, naturalized citizen must be singing “If I only had a brain”

  27. avatar
    HistorianDude March 3, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Hi Scott. Missed you on the radio show. By the way, you need to look at your webpage. You’re still announcing that you’re going to debate me on your home page. You probably need to fix that by now.

    It is also interesting to note that you actually had intended to debate after all. I think we can now put to rest the claim that you intended to no-show as a deliberate “punk.” Looking at your blog and the number of times you announced your intention to debate in the weeks leading up to your no-show, it appears the only people actually punked were the folks who read your blog.

    Don’t feel bad. You are not the only person to have stood on the edge of the 10-meter platform and discovered they were too afraid to dive.

    bernadineayers:
    how can something be a digital “alteration” if it’s not already “digital”. doesn’t he mean “conversion”.?

    i know in audio there is great distinction between analog and digital.

    Computer graphics have no equivalent to audio’s “analog.” If it is resident on a digital medium, it is digital by definition. The act of scanning alters the image, if simply by converting the image to either a raster or a vector file. And that alteration is entirely digital.

    bernadineayers:
    and while we’re at it… how come the “high resolution” copy is of better quality better than the “original”. which isn’t even an original, but a “pdf” which should be pristine.

    Exactly. The existence of the higher resolution AP scan proves that the pdf cannot be the original. They are both different scans of an other original paper document. You are almost there. Good for you.

  28. avatar
    HistorianDude March 3, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    John:
    Frank doesn’t have the qualifications.Again, just another Obot giving his opinion.No value here.

    Actually, John, you have no idea what my qualifications are. They would surprise even many of the Fogbowers who know me personally. But as I said on the report itself, I prefer to let the arguments stand on their own. If you have questions on the content, I’d be happy to discuss them here.

  29. avatar
    HistorianDude March 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    naturalizedcitizen:
    Where is the video created by Mr Frank Arduini where he demonstrates the use of Quartz PDF Context program to create layers that resemble creation shown on Obama’s “.pdf” file?

    Other than some playful animations form a couple of years ago, I don’t do videos, Chito. And I note that you yourself have pretended to be an “expert” on the issue during the ALJ hearing in Georgia, yet have no videos on your resume’ either. So if you have issues with the content of my report, I’d be happy to discuss them with you here.

    naturalizedcitizen:
    If he is an expert he ought to be able to demonstrate how optimization process in this program creates intelligent layers that contain dates and registrar’s stamp in nice self-contained layers.He should be also able to demonstrate that security paper in the background is shown in only one layer separate from the rest of the document.

    Can he do it? What is he waiting for?

    Alas… there are patently no “intelligent layers” anywhere on the pdf. And it was the egregious misrepresentation of those layers that stuck me as the most offensive part of Thursday’s dog-and-pony show.

    Zullo repeatedly misrepresented the layer that contains the security pattern. He deliberately made it sound as if the only thing on that layer was the security pattern… but it’s not. It has almost the entire non-textual form, most of the handwritten signatures, and parts of the text and stamps. The layer itself directly contradicts the claim that it was dropped in separately and last as it contains so many other elements that would have had to have been dropped in at the same time.

    In point of fact, the weird collection of components contained in the “security patter layer” can only be explained by unintelligent optimization processes. And the base reason the algorithm made that weird selection is obvious. All the “black” parts visually touch the form frame and could not be separated out as different layers by the optimization program. Even Zebest noticed that detail, though she failed to correctly understand the implication.

    And the reason the form frame is attached to the security layer is the presence of a single feature; the shadow of the curved pages in the bound volume. The algorithm could not separate the colored security pattern from the form frame because they seamlessly blend together within the shadow of the curved page.

    None of this conforms to the theory of an intelligent forger.

    It was also quite misleading for Zullo to demonstrate that the date stamp and registrar’s stamp could be moved without admitting that this is true of every single one of the monochrome bitmasks that constitute eight of the nine layers. They are all separate components of the pdf, and so any demonstration of their movement can only be met with the single syllable, “Duh.”

    naturalizedcitizen:
    Arpaio’s investigation gave very specific explanation that contradicts claims that this is a genuine electronic file.

    And none of them were competently conceived or accurately described.

    One additional point stressed by Zullo and Zebest deserves attention. It appears that neither of them know what “noise” is. As mentioned a moment ago, eight of the nine layers are monochrome bitmasks, while one (the “security pattern layer”) is a full color jpeg. Monochrome bitmasks cannot be anti-aliased. Jpegs can be anti-aliased. While Zebest even discusses anti-aliasing she fails to notice that this feature of the pdf is not a difference in noise at all, but simply a differential feature of jpegs and monochrome bitmasks.

    In fact, Zebest does not even seem to realize that the layers are of two different types.

  30. avatar
    HistorianDude March 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Oh… and a PS to Chito:

    I’d be curious how you felt to have been directly contradicted by the Arpaio presser?

    Specifically, your position in your “expert” testimony was that the presence of layers proved the pdf to be a forgery.

    The position of the Arpaio posse, however, was that there were actually not enough layers for it to be a forgery.

    They essentially called your testimony bullshit.

    Who is correct here?

  31. avatar
    justlw March 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    I read and admired Mr. Arduini’s analysis back when it first came out, and it was good to read it again.

    This time around, it struck me that the Zebesters bear a very strong resemblance to cdesign proponentsists: it’s an argument from incredulity (“I have no idea how all this computer / natural selection stuff works, so it must be on the side of eevull”), combined with appeal to authority (“but this Photoshop expert / copier salesman / guy with a degree from a Prestigious Science University does! Phew!”), and a healthy dollop of confirmation bias (“scary guy in the White House / scary guy planted fossil bones just to fool us“).

    It always gets to me when someone casually dismisses anything I bring up related to this with, “Ha, you just have no idea how PDFs work!” Well gee, maybe I’m no Mara Zebest, but I can read a file format specification, and I’ve actually written more than one program based on one, which I suspect may not put me anywhere near Mr. Arduini’s league, but I’m guessing it puts me more than a couple steps ahead of Ms. Zebest.

    ===
    I originally thought Joe-sy and the Posse Cats were relying most heavily on pyramid dude. Dang; I really wanted to be able to call them “Vogons.” But now I keep thinking of Barry Minkow.

  32. avatar
    HistorianDude March 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    HistorianDude:
    The position of the Arpaio posse, however, was that there were actually not enough layers for it to be a forgery.

    Of course that was supposed to read:

    The position of the Arpaio posse, however, was that there were actually not enough layers for it to be authentic.

  33. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    This is great… Reading “NaturalizedCitizen” debating “HistorianDude” is like watching Steven Hawking wrestling Serena Williams.