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Another birther candidate gets national press

When I think of “birther candidate,” it’s Donald Trump. This time ABC News highlighted another birther candidate, Christopher Earl Stunk, in an article titled: “Meet the Most Interesting 2016 Candidates You’ve Never Heard Of.” I had actually heard of three of the ones selected from the current list of 512 candidates registered with the Federal Elections Commission, especially Limberbutt McCubbins (a cat) whose candidacy has gone viral (#MeowIsTheTime).

The ABC News article tends to make fun of these candidates, and if that were their intent, they could certainly have said more about the range of conspiracy theories held by Chris Strunk than they did; however, they did cover the most important fact: he is a birther.

I didn’t get this story from Birther Report, but they do have an article.

68 Responses to Another birther candidate gets national press

  1. avatar
    Hermitian August 14, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Two Little Green ApplesWhite

    I created two trial images and posted them here on Scribd:

    https://www.scribd.com/doc/274421828/Images

    These two images were created by editing the following Obama LFCOLB PDF image file in Photoshop CC 2015.

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf

    The steps for the edit were:

    1. Flatten the PDF image

    2. Apply “Image Size” to change the pixel resolution from 300 PPI X 300 PPI to 150 PPI X 150 PPI

    3. Apply “Save As” to re-save the PDF image to JPEG format

    4. Create a 2-page PDF document containing the two trial images by means of PDF Tools

    5. Upload the PDF image file to Scribd

    One of these two images should match the AP Images Green background LFCOLB image AP11042713007. The images should match at the pixel level.

    http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Obama/6478c96a6173470da6ae87478dbd5e40/25/0

    The first trial image is anti-aliased and the second is aliased.

    To prove the Obot’s claim that AP11042713007 was created from birth-certificate-long-form.pdf the AP image must match one of the two trial images at the pixel level.

    Otherwise the Obot claim is false.

    [I have decided to make an exception to deleting Hermitian’s comments until he addresses that other unfinished business; this is a perhaps useful contribution to the discussion. One variation that might result in a difference of the images is the version of Photoshop involved. I recall Hermitian earlier commented that the extracted metadata from the AP JPG was from a very old version of Photoshop. Also, isn’t there a quality setting? Doc.]

  2. avatar
    roadburner August 14, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    “especially Limberbutt McCubbins (a cat) whose candidacy has gone viral ”

    funny, but one of my friends back in england had his dog on the electoral roll as `charlie barks’ 😀

    maybe he had a future in politics

  3. avatar
    Rickey August 14, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    I wonder if Cody Robert Judy is upset that the article doesn’t mention him.

  4. avatar
    Dave B. August 14, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    I would imagine he could take that to mean he’s famous.

    Rickey:
    I wonder if Cody Robert Judy is upset that the article doesn’t mention him.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 14, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

    The only Download that Scribd provides is in PDF format. Selecting an image and saving it from a browser results in a 72 PPI JPG image.

    Hermitian: 2. Apply “Image Size” to change the pixel resolution from 300 PPI X 300 PPI to 150 PPI X 150 PPI

  6. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund August 14, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    Hermitian: To prove the Obot’s claim that AP11042713007 was created from birth-certificate-long-form.pdf the AP image must match one of the two trial images at the pixel level.

    That would be true only if the steps you followed were the exact steps the AP followed. JPEG is a lossy format, and as such just changing the order of operations can cause significant changes at the pixel level. You clearly missed a step, by the way. The AP Green has been trimmed.

    There are a number of different workflows that can be used to convert a layered PDF image into a JPEG. Plus you have to make sure that you are using the same compression schemes at each conversion step. Just a slight deviation will change the image at the pixel level.

    And converting it to a 72 dpi PDF before doing the analysis is moronic.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 14, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    I thought maybe Scribd did that.

    W. Kevin Vicklund: And converting it to a 72 dpi PDF before doing the analysis is moronic.

  8. avatar
    Sef August 14, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    Perhaps this linked document will be of use for understanding PDFs. https://www.leadtools.com/help/leadtools/v19/dh/to/leadtools.topics.pdf~pdf.topics.pdfcoordinatesystem.html . I would have thought someone with the extensive document knowledge that “hermitian” claims to have would have been aware of this.

  9. avatar
    William Rawle August 14, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    Isn’t the “Applewhite green” image cropped?

    The thumbnail image on the AP website is not as wide or as high as the White House PDF.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 14, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

    Yes, it is cropped. One thing that seems to weigh against the Applewhite image being derived from the White House PDF is that it is not quite the same color–Applewhite’s image is yellower. It is yellower than my “save as” from Hermitian’s extraction and it is yellower than my screen shot of the White House PDF saved as a PNG file. What I would really like to see is a real save out of Photoshop, and not Scribd’s reduced-resolution copy.

    Maybe I am overthinking this problem and Applewhite actually did get his hands on the certified copy and photographed it, but that brings up several questions, not least of which is why it is only 150 DPI when the other photo is much higher.

    William Rawle: Isn’t the “Applewhite green” image cropped?

  11. avatar
    William Rawle August 15, 2015 at 1:32 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Yes, it is cropped.

    So when Hermie made his test he didn’t crop the image first?

    I love his attention to detail.

  12. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) August 15, 2015 at 3:58 am #

    W. Kevin Vicklund: Plus you have to make sure that you are using the same compression schemes at each conversion step.

    If they only released the compression schemes, it’d all go away! [tm]

  13. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) August 15, 2015 at 4:06 am #

    Hermitian: must match one of the two trial images at the pixel level

    Still waiting for you to apply the same (insane) level of scrutiny to the Reagan birth certificate.

    Hermitian: Apply “Image Size” to change the pixel resolution

    With what settings? Photoshop offers different algorithms to change image size. My CS6 offers 6 algorithms. Which did you use? Which was used for the AP image? (Including the likely possibility that algorithms having the same name were updated between different PS versions and therefore do not produce the exact same results*.) Are you saying because “they” weren’t able to use Photoshop CC 2015 in 2008, it means the BC is forged?
    On the contrary, for your argument to hold water, you would first have to prove that all algorithms in all versions of Photoshop available at the time are incapable of creating the “identical by the pixel” version – and even then you still wouldn’t have proved forgery.

    ____________
    * For example, did the algorithm for “Bicubic Sharper” not change between CS4 and CS6? Burden of proof’s on you.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 15, 2015 at 6:54 am #

    No.

    William Rawle: So when Hermie made his test he didn’t crop the image first?

  15. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund August 15, 2015 at 9:36 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Yes, it is cropped. One thing that seems to weigh against the Applewhite image being derived from the White House PDF is that it is not quite the same color–Applewhite’s image is yellower. It is yellower than my “save as” from Hermitian’s extraction and it is yellower than my screen shot of the White House PDF saved as a PNG file. What I would really like to see is a real save out of Photoshop, and not Scribd’s reduced-resolution copy.

    Really? I can’t tell the difference on my computer, but I have mild tritanomoly. To me it simply looks more “smudged” – maybe what you’re seeing is the green bits and yellow bits are more mixed than in the PDF. I do note that the halos are present, which indicates that the Applewhite image was of the scan, not the certified copy. Also, if you print at the stored resolution (150 dpi), the image elements are the same size as the pdf, which is 8.5″ by 11″ – it is very difficult to photograph a page such that the resolution of the photograph prints out to the same size as the original (that’s also part of why we know that the Applewhite Blue images are photos, not scans). And as I noted before, there is no detectable chromatic aberratio that you get with a camera. To me, all of that adds up to this being a cropped version of the LFBC PDF converted to JPEG.

  16. avatar
    Woodrowfan August 15, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    Hermie needs a new hobby. Stamp collecting is fun. Or maybe baseball cards??? he can collect those pre-1947 if he only wants white players…

  17. avatar
    Hermitian August 15, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    avatar

    Dr. Conspiracy August 14, 2015 at 6:40 pm (Quote) #

    The only Download that Scribd provides is in PDF format. Selecting an image and saving it from a browser results in a 72 PPI JPG image.

    Hermitian: 2. Apply “Image Size” to change the pixel resolution from 300 PPI X 300 PPI to 150 PPI X 150 PPI

    Scribd does not support upload of JPEG image files. That’s why I placed the two JPEG images within a PDF wrapper. Scribd knows that JPEGs are prone to get screwed up when uploaded and downloaded.

    When you download the Scribd PDF file “Images.pdf” from Scribd, the PDF file it is written directly to disk. Open the file “Images.pdf” and compare each of the two images to your ID: AP11042713007. One of them shoud match your AP11042713007.

    I can’t help you with that compare step because I don’t have access to the AP11042713007 JPEG.

  18. avatar
    Notorial Dissent August 15, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    Someone explain to me why this discussion is even remotely relevant to ANYTHING? Which pretty well sums up Hermi at all times and points.

    UNLESS this alleged experiment, and I use alleged with extreme prejudice, was carried on EXACTLY the same equipment, using EXACTLY not only the same software, but same version and update of software with EXACTLY the same settings, using EXACTLY the same procedures and steps in EXACTLY the same order that UPI used then none of the forgoing matters in the least.

  19. avatar
    Punchmaster via Mobile August 15, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    Woodrowfan:
    Hermie needsa new hobby. Stamp collecting is fun. Or maybe baseball cards???he can collect those pre-1947 if he only wants white players…

    I suggest he take up playing in traffic.

  20. avatar
    Hermitian August 15, 2015 at 11:27 am #

    W. Kevin Vicklund August 14, 2015 at 7:39 pm (Quote) #

    Hermitian: To prove the Obot’s claim that AP11042713007 was created from birth-certificate-long-form.pdf the AP image must match one of the two trial images at the pixel level.

    That would be true only if the steps you followed were the exact steps the AP followed. JPEG is a lossy format, and as such just changing the order of operations can cause significant changes at the pixel level. You clearly missed a step, by the way. The AP Green has been trimmed.

    There are a number of different workflows that can be used to convert a layered PDF image into a JPEG. Plus you have to make sure that you are using the same compression schemes at each conversion step. Just a slight deviation will change the image at the pixel level.

    And converting it to a 72 dpi PDF before doing the analysis is moronic.

    The crop step is unnecessary because all the images are set in pixels/inch.

    I didn’t set anything to 72 PPI X 72 PPI. Check your grid settings…

  21. avatar
    Hermitian August 15, 2015 at 11:40 am #

    The Magic M (not logged in) August 15, 2015 at 4:06 am (Quote) #

    Hermitian: must match one of the two trial images at the pixel level

    Still waiting for you to apply the same (insane) level of scrutiny to the Reagan birth certificate.

    Hermitian: Apply “Image Size” to change the pixel resolution

    With what settings? Photoshop offers different algorithms to change image size. My CS6 offers 6 algorithms. Which did you use? Which was used for the AP image? (Including the likely possibility that algorithms having the same name were updated between different PS versions and therefore do not produce the exact same results*.) Are you saying because “they” weren’t able to use Photoshop CC 2015 in 2008, it means the BC is forged?
    On the contrary, for your argument to hold water, you would first have to prove that all algorithms in all versions of Photoshop available at the time are incapable of creating the “identical by the pixel” version – and even then you still wouldn’t have proved forgery.

    ____________
    * For example, did the algorithm for “Bicubic Sharper” not change between CS4 and CS6? Burden of proof’s on you.

    I agree — there are lots of variables. But this is a first shot…

    I have access to all versions of Photoshop back to CS6 (version 13.0) through Adobe CC. I can therefore install 13.0, 14.0, 15.0, or 16.0. I currently have versions CC (14.0) and CC 2015 (16.0) installed.

    So I can test using any of these versions ever how you want it done.

  22. avatar
    Hermitian August 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    The Magic M (not logged in)
    Comment:

    W. Kevin Vicklund: Plus you have to make sure that you are using the same compression schemes at each conversion step.

    If they only released the compression schemes, it’d all go away! [tm]

    For the “Image Size” step, I checked “Resample” For the anti-aliased image I selected “Automatic”. So method is pot luck. For the aliased image, I selected “Nearest Neighbor (Hard Edges)”.

    Of course the text of the flattened image then looks like the Binary layers in the WH LFCOLB PDF. However, the text is all 150 PPI X 150PPI.

    For both images, the JPEG Quality Factors are the same as AP11042713007

  23. avatar
    Hermitian August 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

    Notorial Dissent August 15, 2015 at 11:09 am (Quote) #

    Someone explain to me why this discussion is even remotely relevant to ANYTHING? Which pretty well sums up Hermi at all times and points.

    UNLESS this alleged experiment, and I use alleged with extreme prejudice, was carried on EXACTLY the same equipment, using EXACTLY not only the same software, but same version and update of software with EXACTLY the same settings, using EXACTLY the same procedures and steps in EXACTLY the same order that UPI used then none of the forgoing matters in the least.

    The Obots claim that the AP Images Green background LFOLB image was created by digitally editing the WH LFCOLB PDF image “birth-certificate-long-form.pdf” to crop the image and reduce the pixel resolution. The resulting image would be AP11042713007.

    So if you would identify the equipment, software, version, update, settings, procedures and steps, and the order then I probably could duplicate same.

    So the ball is in your court.

  24. avatar
    Hermitian August 15, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy August 14, 2015 at 11:24 pm (Quote) #

    Yes, it is cropped. One thing that seems to weigh against the Applewhite image being derived from the White House PDF is that it is not quite the same color–Applewhite’s image is yellower. It is yellower than my “save as” from Hermitian’s extraction and it is yellower than my screen shot of the White House PDF saved as a PNG file. What I would really like to see is a real save out of Photoshop, and not Scribd’s reduced-resolution copy.

    Maybe I am overthinking this problem and Applewhite actually did get his hands on the certified copy and photographed it, but that brings up several questions, not least of which is why it is only 150 DPI when the other photo is much higher.

    William Rawle: Isn’t the “Applewhite green” image cropped?

    Send me your Email address and I’ll send the JPEGS via Email attachment. You have my Email address.

  25. avatar
    William Rawle August 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Notorial Dissent: Someone explain to me why this discussion is even remotely relevant to ANYTHING?

    Sometimes hobbies are like that.

  26. avatar
    Notorial Dissent August 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    Oh, you mean like collecting navel lint??

    William Rawle: Sometimes hobbies are like that.

  27. avatar
    y_p_w August 15, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    Notorial Dissent:
    Someone explain to me why this discussion is even remotely relevant to ANYTHING?Which pretty well sums up Hermi at all times and points.

    UNLESS this alleged experiment, and I use alleged with extreme prejudice, was carried on EXACTLY the same equipment, using EXACTLY not only the same software, but same version and update of software with EXACTLY the same settings, using EXACTLY the same procedures and steps in EXACTLY the same order that UPI used then none of the forgoing matters in the least.

    And even then there’s really no way to EXACTLY duplicate results. There’s always going to be some minor variations. It took just the right conditions for that “1” in the date stamp of the White House PDF to be created as a separate object from the “196”. There’s also always going to be a certain amount of quantization issues or stray pixels, as anyone who has looked a the output of a FAX machine would know. All these tiny little differences will prevent any workflow from producing exactly the same output. You can make a lot of these things seem insignificant with a high enough resolution, but then the file size may be unmanageable.

  28. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 15, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    Here is an experimental result.

    A reader here used PhotoShop 2 to open the White House PDF, and export it as a JPG file at 150 PPI. The following image:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/compare.png

    shows portions of the original AP Applewhite photo I purchased (top) and the White House PDF export (bottom). Both are zoomed to 400%. No change of scale was made to either image. While the two images are not pixel identical, they are stunningly similar. The identical size of the two images convinces me that they both derived from the same source.

  29. avatar
    Hermitian August 15, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy August 15, 2015 at 4:53 pm (Quote) #

    Here is an experimental result.

    A reader here used PhotoShop 2 to open the White House PDF, and export it as a JPG file at 150 PPI. The following image:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/compare.png

    shows portions of the original AP Applewhite photo I purchased (top) and the White House PDF export (bottom). Both are zoomed to 400%. No change of scale was made to either image. While the two images are not pixel identical, they are stunningly similar. The identical size of the two images convinces me that they both derived from the same source.

    I agree they look pretty close. Did you check the colors?

  30. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 15, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    Not beyond just looking at them, where I detect some difference, maybe tint and maybe brightness. I am satisfied as to where the green image came from, so that’s about all I plan to do. I am assuming that the identical create dates came out of some batch processing.

    [Edited to say:]

    I received Hermitian’s exported images, not cropped.

    While I noticed color differences when opening the AP image compared to any of the extracted PDF versions using Photoimpact Pro 13, I did not see this color difference when opening the files with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6. And no, I didn’t have any presets applied. All 4 of the images (two from Hermitian and one from another commenter) differed from the AP image and from each other in their histogram display. So even three images we know came from the PDF are different, pointing the futility of doing any pixel comparisons with the AP image.

    From my reading of Lightroom books, professional users typically have a set of favorite presets that they apply in batch to all their images, and this further suggests that trying to find out exactly how to match the Applewhite image is a wild goose chase.

    Hermitian: Did you check the colors?

  31. avatar
    Reality Check August 16, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    Hermie’s argument (and that of about every other Birther trying to play expert) condenses down to guilty until proven innocent. Unless someone can explain to them in intricate detail how every image of the LFBC was made and if every description of event event doesn’t align perfectly then they claim there is a conspiracy. It’s silly.

    I have yet to see one Birther explain how the LFBC PDF file exhibits at least 11 characteristics of a Xerox WorkCentre to Preview work flow yet they claim it was created from scratch using photo editing software.

    Dr. Conspiracy: I am satisfied as to where the green image came from, so that’s about all I plan to do. I am assuming that the identical create dates came out of some batch processing.

  32. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund August 16, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    WARNING!

    Immediately after downloading Hermie’s PDF, the keyboard on my laptop stopped functioning properly; half of the qwerty row and a smattering of other keys do not work.

  33. avatar
    William Rawle August 16, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    Reality Check: Xerox WorkCentre to Preview work flow

    When you did your Xerox experiment, did you run the same document through the Xerox two or three times and create two or three different PDFs?

    If you did were the results the same for each of the PDFs? For example, same number of layers, same shape to layers, etc.

  34. avatar
    Reality Check August 16, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    I never got the same results even for the same document. The number of layers would change and the content of the layers would change. There were common traits however. The green background and most of the form were always in the JPG layer and the registrar’s stamp and date stamp were almost always separated out. Most of the form text was in a layer except the parts that touched the form. My theory is that even a very slight change in the orientation of the original will change the outcome.

    Most of the extra layers were bits text or specs down in the noise level. The number of those is what changed. I usually saw between 5 and 12 or 13 layers.

    William Rawle: When you did your Xerox experiment, did you run the same document through the Xerox two or three times and create two or three different PDFs?

  35. avatar
    William Rawle August 16, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    Reality Check: I never got the same results even for the same document.

    Excellent. So even if you had the original certified copy used to create the White House LFBC PDF and used the exact same Xerox they used, you would not get exactly the same results.

  36. avatar
    Rickey August 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    We know that the LFBC is not a forgery, but what Hermie and the other birthers won’t come to grips with is this:

    Even if they could prove that the LFBC is a forgery, they still would have no evidence that Obama wasn’t born in the United States. From a purely political standpoint, it may have made sense to challenge the legitimacy of the LFBC in 2011 and 2012, when doubts about Obama’s eligibility could theoretically have prevented his re-election, but that ship has sailed.

  37. avatar
    Northland10 August 16, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: From my reading of Lightroom books, professional users typically have a set of favorite presets that they apply in batch to all their images, and this further suggests that trying to find out exactly how to match the Applewhite image is a wild goose chase.

    That would make sense since professionals, especially those working for time-constrained news service, would be looking to save as much time and effort as is possible. Batch processing common presets would be a logical process.

  38. avatar
    Arthur B. August 16, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    Rickey: Even if they could prove that the LFBC is a forgery, they still would have no evidence that Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

    It’s worse than that for them. While pinning their hopes on finding a smoking gun in the most minute recesses of a PDF, they ignore the fact that there are several other Hawaiian state documents any one of which would prove his birth data just as well as a paper LFBC.

    Hey, Hermie, let’s go chronologically. How do you impeach the self-authenticating paper COLB? What have you got?

  39. avatar
    Rickey August 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    Arthur B.:

    Hey, Hermie, let’s go chronologically. How do you impeach the self-authenticating paper COLB? What have you got?

    The lack of a viable end game has always been a stumbling block for the birthers.

  40. avatar
    Pete August 16, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    Rickey: The lack of a viable end game has always been a stumbling block for the birthers.

    The fact that they never had anything but BS from the beginning has always been a stumbling block for the birthers.

    There was only one way this could ever end, and that’s the way it has: with birthers sliding into obscurity, with a few hanging on desperately and continuing to believe the nonsense long, long past the point of any relevancy whatsoever, and then a long fade into complete forgottenness.

    Except for an occasional glitch when it comes to someone like Ted Cruz, the birthers are already somewhat forgotten. It only gets worse from here.

  41. avatar
    y_p_w August 16, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    Reality Check:
    I never got the same results even for the same document. The number of layers would change and the content of the layers would change. There were common traits however. The green background and most of the form were always in the JPG layer and the registrar’s stamp and date stamp were almost always separated out. Most of the form text was in a layer except the parts that touched the form. My theory is that even a very slight change in the orientation of the original will change the outcome.

    Most of the extra layers were bits text or specs down in the noise level. The number of those is what changed. I usually saw between 5 and 12 or 13 layers.

    Just your basic butterfly effect. Might as well try to hit an exact roll playing craps or predict which lottery balls come up. There’s always going to be some small bit of randomness that prevents perfectly exact repeated results.

  42. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 16, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    Hmmm. I wonder if there are winning lottery numbers in the LFBC.

    y_p_w: Might as well try to hit an exact roll playing craps or predict which lottery balls come up.

  43. avatar
    Reality Check August 16, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

    From what I saw in doing many tests that would also be my conclusion. No two scans were identical.

    It makes sense too when you think abut it. Even if the document is placed on the platen and scanned twice the light bar and sensors have to be moved across the document. The speed and timing of the scan could vary slightly and change a few pixels here and there. When a document is fed through he document feeder there are even more chances the alignment and timing of the scan could vary.

    I never published this anywhere but the German grad student who found that the JBIG2 algorithm could change numbers and letters randomly on rare occasions included some of my Xerox WorkCentre testing in a presentation at a conference he attended.

    William Rawle: Excellent. So even if you had the original certified copy used to create the White House LFBC PDF and used the exact same Xerox they used, you would not get exactly the same results.

  44. avatar
    Reality Check August 16, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    Here is a blog post with Dave Kriessel’s presentation at the Chaos Computer Club talk. The translation is less than ideal as Dave notes in his blog post. The CCC describes itself as follows. :

    The Chaos Computer Club e. V. (CCC) is Europe’s largest association of hackers. For more than thirty years we are providing information about technical and societal issues, such as surveillance, privacy, freedom of information, hacktivism, data security and many other interesting things around technology and hacking issues. As the most influential hacker collective in Europe we organize campaigns, events, lobbying and publications as well as anonymizing services and communication infrastructure. There are many hackerspaces in and around Germany which belong to or share a common bond to the CCC as stated in our hacker ethics.

    .

    http://www.dkriesel.com/en/blog/2013/0802_xerox-workcentres_are_switching_written_numbers_when_scanning

    What I gather is that Kriessel found remnants of Xerox JBIG2 compression in the LFBC PDF.

  45. avatar
    Hermitian August 16, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    W. Kevin Vicklund August 16, 2015 at 10:11 am (Quote) #

    WARNING!

    Immediately after downloading Hermie’s PDF, the keyboard on my laptop stopped functioning properly; half of the qwerty row and a smattering of other keys do not work.

    I told you years ago that Preview screws up real PDF files. You should throw that Apple junk in the trash!

  46. avatar
    Reality Check August 16, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    PS: Skip to around 53:00 in the video.

  47. avatar
    Hermitian August 16, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    Reality Check August 16, 2015 at 9:35 am (Quote) #

    Hermie’s argument (and that of about every other Birther trying to play expert) condenses down to guilty until proven innocent. Unless someone can explain to them in intricate detail how every image of the LFBC was made and if every description of event event doesn’t align perfectly then they claim there is a conspiracy. It’s silly.

    So you are buying into the scenario that the AP received a pristine copy of the Obama Green background LFCOLB PDF file from the White House and then cropped the image boundary, reduced the pixel resolution from 300 PPI X 300 PPI to 150 PPI X 150 PPI, increased the file size from 377KB to 1.3MB and then posted it for sale on AP Images.

    Wasn’t it Barnum who said that “a sucker is born every minute”?

  48. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 17, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    I recall that you said that an engineer looks at alternatives, and selects the most likely; however, you seem to be unwilling to offer an alternative scenario about which we can discuss the likelihood. I guess that you really don’t have a more likely alternative. Is that true?

    Did I mention that the test file created by exporting the White House PDF to JPG at 150 ppi with Photoshop 2 just happens to be 1,441,901 bytes? (Yours were larger) The AP image is 1,307,236 bytes. And of course the White House PDF is as pristine today as the day it was made.

    It appears that the facts fit your P. T. Barnum (not the actual source of the “sucker” quote) scenario, and you have nothing better. I think you’re the one looking for suckers, and not finding them.

    Hermitian: So you are buying into the scenario that the AP received a pristine copy of the Obama Green background LFCOLB PDF file from the White House and then cropped the image boundary, reduced the pixel resolution from 300 PPI X 300 PPI to 150 PPI X 150 PPI, increased the file size from 377KB to 1.3MB and then posted it for sale on AP Images.

  49. avatar
    Curious George August 17, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    Reality Check:

    Thanks for the link that contains the video you mentioned. Excellent information.

    http://www.dkriesel.com/en/blog/2013/0802_xerox-workcentres_are_switching_written_numbers_when_scanning

  50. avatar
    Hermitian August 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    Northland10 August 16, 2015 at 5:07 pm (Quote) #

    Dr. Conspiracy: From my reading of Lightroom books, professional users typically have a set of favorite presets that they apply in batch to all their images, and this further suggests that trying to find out exactly how to match the Applewhite image is a wild goose chase.

    That would make sense since professionals, especially those working for time-constrained news service, would be looking to save as much time and effort as is possible. Batch processing common presets would be a logical process.

    Batch doesn’t make sense when you are processing three different images, doing a different crop on each and reducing the pixel resolution on one or all.

  51. avatar
    Hermitian August 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Arthur B. August 16, 2015 at 5:16 pm (Quote) #

    Rickey: Even if they could prove that the LFBC is a forgery, they still would have no evidence that Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

    It’s worse than that for them. While pinning their hopes on finding a smoking gun in the most minute recesses of a PDF, they ignore the fact that there are several other Hawaiian state documents any one of which would prove his birth data just as well as a paper LFBC.

    Hey, Hermie, let’s go chronologically. How do you impeach the self-authenticating paper COLB? What have you got?

    For a start, I have already proven that the WH COLB is Polland’s forgery. Moreover, the WH claims that the COLB was ordered from the HDOH by the campaign in 2008. But there are zero COLB images with 2008 dates.

  52. avatar
    Hermitian August 17, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy August 17, 2015 at 7:25 am (Quote) #

    I recall that you said that an engineer looks at alternatives, and selects the most likely; however, you seem to be unwilling to offer an alternative scenario about which we can discuss the likelihood. I guess that you really don’t have a more likely alternative. Is that true?
    Did I mention that the test file created by exporting the White House PDF to JPG at 150 ppi with Photoshop 2 just happens to be 1,441,901 bytes? (Yours were larger) The AP image is 1,307,236 bytes. And of course the White House PDF is as pristine today as the day it was made.
    It appears that the facts fit your P. T. Barnum (not the actual source of the “sucker” quote) scenario, and you have nothing better. I think you’re the one looking for suckers, and not finding them.
    Hermitian: So you are buying into the scenario that the AP received a pristine copy of the Obama Green background LFCOLB PDF file from the White House and then cropped the image boundary, reduced the pixel resolution from 300 PPI X 300 PPI to 150 PPI X 150 PPI, increased the file size from 377KB to 1.3MB and then posted it for sale on AP Images.

    I already offered an alternative. I believe that if the WH had provided an image of the original certified copy of the Obama Green basket-weave background LFCOLB then they would have scanned it in color to JPEG and sent the JPEG over to the Washington DC offices of the AP. The WH would have already known that the AP prefers JPEG images.

    It would also be easy for the WH (or the AP) to edit this scanned color image to remove the basket-weave background and to substitute the pale Blue background and the faux chromatic aberration.

    Also the WH was already putting out the Green background LFCOLB PDF image to the public by posting it to the WH web site on 04/27/2011. So there would be no need for the WH to send the WH “birth-certificate-long-form.pdf” file to the AP unless they were providing them an advance copy.

    Presumably, the WH copied the original certified copy of the LFCOLB in Black & White to produce the paper hand out copies. In that case the WH could have easily scanned the original certified copy to JPEG in color. This would probably be a high-resolution scan (300 PPI X 300 PPI). The WH could then send a copy of this JPEG to the AP. The AP would have edited the image to reduce the resolution and re-compressed the image to reduce the filesize.

    A key question which I have no answer for is whether or not the reporter’s paper hand-out copy of the LFCOLB shows any pixilation of the text. If so, then the hand-out copies would necessarily have been derived from a scanned image. This could be a B&W copy printed from the scanned image or a dry copy of a print out of the scanned image.

    If on the other hand, the hand-out copy shows smooth text (i.e. typewritten or printed) then the image would be a dry copy of an original typewritten image or dry copy of one. Then the AP Blue image (which is pixelated) would either have to be a digital photograph or else a scanned image.

    With regards to your complaint about the file sizes, you didn’t provide the JPEG quality factors for your 1.44 MB export. The file size of my two JPEG 150 PPI X 150 PPI images were both dictated by matching the QFs to your AP ID:11042713007. I’ll have more to say about file sizes shortly.

  53. avatar
    Hermitian August 17, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy August 17, 2015 at 7:25 am (Quote) #

    I recall that you said that an engineer looks at alternatives, and selects the most likely; however, you seem to be unwilling to offer an alternative scenario about which we can discuss the likelihood. I guess that you really don’t have a more likely alternative. Is that true?
    Did I mention that the test file created by exporting the White House PDF to JPG at 150 ppi with Photoshop 2 just happens to be 1,441,901 bytes? (Yours were larger) The AP image is 1,307,236 bytes. And of course the White House PDF is as pristine today as the day it was made.

    “With regards to your complaint about the file sizes, you didn’t provide the JPEG quality factors for your 1.44 MB export. The file size of my two JPEG 150 PPI X 150 PPI images were both dictated by matching the QFs to your AP ID:11042713007. I’ll have more to say about file sizes shortly.”

    It’s risky to draw broad conclusions about the variability of images at the pixel level without considering the actual workflow. For example the JPEG file that I produced by flattening the WH LFCOLB PDF is an exact match to the PDF image at pixel level. I sent you that file as the attachment “birth-certificate-long-form_Flattened.jpg”. The file size was 5.89MB compared to 377KB for the size of the WH LFCOLB PDF image. For the save step the QF was set to “maximum” (slide lever to full right). However I also created a second “flattened” image with lowest quality (slide lever to extreme left). This file was only 479KB in size but also was a match to the WL LFCOLB PDF at the pixel level. The match includes, typed, printed and handwritten characters. Check your mailbox for a copy of “birth-certificate-long-form_Flattened_Re-Compressed.jpg”.

    This proves that the AP could have compressed a JPEG image of the Original WH LFCOLB PDF to nearly the same filesize without losing any detail.

  54. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 17, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    I don’t have a clue what that means.

    Hermitian: For example the JPEG file that I produced by flattening the WH LFCOLB PDF is an exact match to the PDF image at pixel level.

  55. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 17, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Why would anybody do that? I thought you were trying to fine a more likely scenario. Removing the color is exactly what the AP would not want to do. You are positing a process that involves a document which is not known to exist. You provide no rationale for doing it. The process involves extra work which has no result but degrading the image. Sorry, but if this is the best you can do, it’s a total loss.

    Hermitian: It would also be easy for the WH (or the AP) to edit this scanned color image to remove the basket-weave background and to substitute the pale Blue background and the faux chromatic aberration.

  56. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 17, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

    I don’t agree that you have proven that the White House COLB is Polland’s image. However, it could be, and if it is, it means nothing more than the White House Press Office got a copy of the short form from Snopes, where a Polland copy had been uploaded. That is, there is no significance to this.

    The White House spokesperson just misspoke about the 2008 date, and there is no significance to that either.

    So your observations, however accurate, are insignificant.

    Hermitian: For a start, I have already proven that the WH COLB is Polland’s forgery. Moreover, the WH claims that the COLB was ordered from the HDOH by the campaign in 2008. But there are zero COLB images with 2008 dates.

  57. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 17, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    I don’t agree, and now I am going to delete all further comments from you until you get back to us about that little matter of Japanese births appearing in Hawaii.

    Hermitian: Batch doesn’t make sense when you are processing three different images, doing a different crop on each and reducing the pixel resolution on one or all.

  58. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) August 18, 2015 at 5:03 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I don’t have a clue what that means.

    Hermitian: For example the JPEG file that I produced by flattening the WH LFCOLB PDF is an exact match to the PDF image at pixel level.

    I think he means that he saved the PDF as JPG without any compression (usually achieved by setting “quality” to 100 (percent)) and the result is pixel-wise identical to the PDF. A technical truism.

  59. avatar
    RanTalbott August 18, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

    Hermitian: Moreover, the WH claims that the COLB was ordered from the HDOH by the campaign in 2008.

    Nope. There is an anecdote (I believe in a book written by a campaign staffer) about Obama bitching when asked to order a BC in 2007. Bauer’s 2011 statement at the April 27 press event only says it was “requested” in 2008, not from whom. It’s quite possible that someone asked “Can we just get a damned BC to shut these clowns up?”, and got a reply of “We already have one”.

  60. avatar
    gorefan August 19, 2015 at 11:27 am #

    RanTalbott: Nope. There is an anecdote (I believe in a book written by a campaign staffer) about Obama bitching when asked to order a BC in 2007.

    The Post & Email requested a copy of the receipt for the COLB and got a response that shows it was requested in May, 2007 and the request was completed in June, 2007. They got a copy of the birth certificate and a copy of a marriage certificate (presumably the President’s mom and dad’s)

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GFJ1QBymsyU/VdQygqML9aI/AAAAAAAAiTA/6gtIshwNyVA/s1600/8-Onaka-UIPA-Response-p4677.bmp

    Birther Report story on the P&E UIPA request of the Hawaii DOH.

    http://www.birtherreport.com/2015/08/report-p-receives-documentation-of.html

    Just more confirmation.

  61. avatar
    y_p_w August 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    gorefan: The Post & Email requested a copy of the receipt for the COLB and got a response that shows it was requested in May, 2007 and the request was completed in June, 2007.They got a copy of the birth certificate and a copy of a marriage certificate (presumably the President’s mom and dad’s)

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GFJ1QBymsyU/VdQygqML9aI/AAAAAAAAiTA/6gtIshwNyVA/s1600/8-Onaka-UIPA-Response-p4677.bmp

    Birther Report story on the P&E UIPA request of the Hawaii DOH.

    http://www.birtherreport.com/2015/08/report-p-receives-documentation-of.html

    Just more confirmation.

    Of course any time that a detail is missed or some functionary says something, it’s bound to be suspect to the birthers. So what if they said the campaign requested it in 2008. It’s pretty obvious that they requested it in 2007, and it’s not a sign that something was doctored. They’ve also taken the same tack with the “half typed, half written” quote from an article, which may have even been paraphrasing Fukino.

  62. avatar
    RanTalbott August 19, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

    y_p_w: They’ve also taken the same tack with the “half typed, half written” quote from an article, which may have even been paraphrasing Fukino.

    Well, it clearly wasn’t a quote, because the sentence starts with “She found the original birth record”, and doesn’t enclose any of the words the writer used in quotation marks. So that part’s a lie.

    Also, Fukino referred to the “birth record“, not “birth certificate“, which is only a subset of the record. That’s probably just stupidity (especially since it’s Rondeau), although the distinction has been pointed out to birthers often enough that it might also be a lie.

    Rondeau also lied about the factcheck.org article being “removed from the web”: it’s still on the site, just in a different directory.

  63. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund August 19, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    gorefan: The Post & Email requested a copy of the receipt for the COLB and got a response that shows it was requested in May, 2007 and the request was completed in June, 2007.They got a copy of the birth certificate and a copy of a marriage certificate (presumably the President’s mom and dad’s)

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GFJ1QBymsyU/VdQygqML9aI/AAAAAAAAiTA/6gtIshwNyVA/s1600/8-Onaka-UIPA-Response-p4677.bmp

    Birther Report story on the P&E UIPA request of the Hawaii DOH.

    http://www.birtherreport.com/2015/08/report-p-receives-documentation-of.html

    Just more confirmation.

    Awesome! I admit that the 2007 vs. 2008 request date was the only thing still bothering me. In the sense of not sure whether there was an anomaly in the evidence or an error in the account.

  64. avatar
    gorefan August 21, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    Wong Kim Ark makes the news.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/case-heart-birthright-citizenship-battle-n413736

  65. avatar
    Dave B. August 21, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    Lori Stacey’s up to it again over at the Examiner:
    http://www.examiner.com/article/challenge-to-gop-contenders-demand-rubio-cruz-and-jindal-get-out-of-the-race
    Oh. I just noticed the date on that one. It’s nearly a month old.

  66. avatar
    Notorial Dissent August 21, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

    And she gets it all so very wrong, right up to and including her last statement.

    Dave B.:
    Lori Stacey’s up to it again over at the Examiner:
    http://www.examiner.com/article/challenge-to-gop-contenders-demand-rubio-cruz-and-jindal-get-out-of-the-race

  67. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 23, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    Hermitian posted a long thingy attempting to argue that the White House image of the COLB came from Snopes.com (which it did) and that image was a fake created by Ron Polland. Many things asserted as facts are not supported.

    The main issue is that Hermitian is excluded from further commenting here since he refuses to address claims he made before. I consider him a dishonest participant. Until such time as he responds to issues about his Japanese fake birth certificate claims, he cannot participate in any discussion here.

  68. avatar
    gorefan August 23, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Hermitian posted a long thingy attempting to argue that the White House image of the COLB came from Snopes.com (which it did) and that image was a fake created by Ron Polland. Many things asserted as facts are not supported.

    One thing that Polland did admit is that the image on his website had a crooked line. He claimed without proof that he changed the line to see if anyone would catch it. That was the same excuse he used at Free Republic when he apparently got caught fake some images. That was one reason they banned him.

    He discussed it here

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/08/the-occasional-open-thread-lizard-people-edition/#comment-129850