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Halos

imageIf [a halo]  is something that would be created by a scanner there, then we would have seen it in every birth certificate, however we see it only in Obama’s.

Orly Taitz

Of course the State of Hawaii doesn’t issue scanned birth certificates, they issue real ones on paper. On a real birth certificate black text is printed on colored paper, and the toner in the printer/copier is one color, black. It doesn’t print white. It’s only in scanning where software deals with the best way to show an image and where something that’s not black and white can appear.

We know that Mixed Raster Content (MRC) compression creates halos, as indicated in this academic article on MRC compression.

Birther scanner guru Douglas Vogt claims that it was not PDF optimization via MRC compression that created the halos because the scanned copy given to the Press also has halos, like the the White House PFD file. He said:

We used the reporters copy from one of the networks that was at the April 27, 2011 news conference. At 300 dpi it showed us all we needed to know. By the way the white halo is caused by unsharp mask and finally Mara Z. agreed with us. The white halo appeared both on the reporters copy and Savanna Guthrie’s copy so it was not part of any PDF manipulation.

Let’s look at what Vogt is talking about. First here’s a hugely magnified snip from the PDF file (magnified more than the resolution actually in the document).

image

And here’s a bit from the Press copy at its actual resolution:

image

It’s a little hard to see the white space around the letters in the second example, but compare the word “not” in the two examples to note that it’s really “not” the same effect and the halos are in different places. Let me zoom in ridiculously on that word for you. In one you see no halo to the left of the “n” and in the other there is.

imageimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of this ZBAR (zooming beyond all recognition) is rather silly, and really what I wanted to get to was Orly’s claim about all Hawaiian birth certificates all lacking halos. How many did she examine? I would speculate that the number is between zero and not many. I did look at one that’s been on the Internet for quite a while, the certificate for “Alan” from 1963 and darned if there isn’t just a little halo there, rather like what we see on the Press copy of Obama’s certificate.

image

Alexander Pope quotes:

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.

Birther image analysis has always been based on shallow knowledge, guided by bias and amplified by the Dunning-Kruger effect. I won’t say I never learned something from a birther image analyst, but I never found their conclusions correct.

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8 Responses to Halos

  1. avatar
    ZixiOfIx January 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    So, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying that this shadowy “Alan” figure is in on the conspiracy as well? :)

    In all seriousness, birthers are the very definition of “selection bias”.

  2. avatar
    richCares January 7, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    Halos? I thought you were referring to Obama as a saint (with Halo)

  3. avatar
    Saint James January 7, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    “If [a halo] is something that would be created by a scanner there, then we would have seen it in every birth certificate, however we see it only in Obama’s.”

    Orly Taitz

    It’s easily solved, Barack Hussein Obama is a canonized Saint, thus the halo…Saint Barack of Hawaii

  4. avatar
    ZixiOfIx January 7, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    Saint James:

    It’s easily solved, Barack Hussein Obama is a canonized Saint, thus the halo…Saint Barack of Hawaii

    What would Mr. Obama be a patron of?

    Hawaii actually has two saints, not that they couldn’t have more.

    Saint Damien of Molokai, a patron saints of lepers and of Hawaii itself.

    Saint Marianne Cope, a patroness of lepers, people with HIV/AIDS, and of Hawaii itself.

  5. avatar
    Saint James January 7, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    ZixiOfIx: What would Mr. Obama be a patron of?

    Hmmm! Giving him a title based on his advocacy will be hard to ascertain in that there will be too many choices to select the best from. think think think!

  6. avatar
    Thomas Brown January 7, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Barack Obama, patron saint of “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

  7. avatar
    misha marinsky January 7, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    ZixiOfIx: Hawaii actually has two saints

    Judaism has sacraments: Bagels and lox. [bada-bing]

  8. avatar
    Paul January 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Thomas Brown:
    Barack Obama, patron saint of “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

    Brillliant.

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