Main Menu

Archive | Birth Certificate

Birth certificate forensics and general points about birth certificates

WND blocks Doc from debunking nutty article

Lord Monckton is back at WorldNetDaily with a classic example of he blind leading the blind in a rehash of a similar story from 2012. I’d like to refute the nonsense there, but WND banned me a while back.

image

The comment I couldn’t post (from the preceding image) says:

With all due respect, Monckton doesn’t have a clue what real scanning and PDF generation software does. He relies on what he is told, and the people telling him aren’t qualified. It is the blind leading the blind. The paper largely relies on the false claim that normal PDF generation software does not create multiple one-bit non-black layers. Well it does. Ask any Xerox WorkCenter 7655 machine.

This is in response to a central theme in the Monckton report (repeating over and over “I am told”) that says, among other things:

Monckton: "I am told that no optimization software generates any non-black layers of 1-bit quality, yet all of the 1-bit-quality layers in the White House document are non-black" and "Multiple layers of 1-bit quality each representing a distinct color other than black can only be created by an operator deliberately."

As readers here know, the Xerox WorkCentre 7655 that the White House owns automatically does exactly what Monckton was told optimization software can not do.

Then Monckton goes on to do some math which is both wrong, and inappropriate:

Multiple layers of 1-bit quality, no 1-bit-quality layer represents black and one 8-bit-quality color layer: 1 in 60 (combined)
Registrar’s signature-stamp on its own layer: 1 in 100 (actually impossible)
Registrar’s date-stamp on its own layer: 1 in 100 (actually impossible)
Line spacing irregularities: 1 in 10
Letter spacing irregularities: 1 in 20
White halo effect around black text: 1 in 10
Chromatic aberration absent: 1 in 100 (actually impossible)
Certificate number out of sequence: 1 in 25
Father’s birth date two years out: 1 in 40
Use of “African” against written rules: 1 in 25
Miscoding of federal statistical data: 1 in 25
Probability that all errors were inadvertent: 1 in 75 quadrillion

First, let’s correct the mistakes:

Multiple layers of 1-bit quality, no 1-bit-quality layer represents black and one 8-bit-quality color layer: Normal for Xerox machine
Registrar’s signature-stamp on its own layer: Always happens with Xerox
Registrar’s date-stamp on its own layer: Always happens with Xerox
Line spacing irregularities: Why is this unusual?
Letter spacing irregularities: Why is this unusual?
White halo effect around black text: Always happens with Xerox
Chromatic aberration absent: Normal for Xerox
Certificate number out of sequence: Not out of sequence
Father’s birth date two years out: Matches other documents
Use of “African” against written rules: No such rule
Miscoding of federal statistical data: No such code applicable

The a priori statistical fallacy involved (reference, see Note 4) is to conclude that something that that has already happened is improbable. He might just as well have argued that the name Barack is very unusual, and the name Obama is also unusual, and that only a relatively small number of babies were born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961, and then conclude that someone named “Barack Obama” being born on August 4, 1961 in Hawaii was very unlikely.

Sibley’s “Grand Jury Kit”

Scrounging for something to write about lead me to Montgomery Blair Sibley’s blog, and a February 27th article titled, “Request for Grand Jury Investigation into the Legitimacy of Obama’s Identity Documents.” In the brief article, Sibley says that he is done with the courts on this topic; however, he refers to his Open Letter, and in that letter he urges readers to download a 32-page document, print it in color, and send it to “your local county Grand Jury.” I guess we will have to add Sibley’s “Grand Jury Kit” to Mike Volin’s Sheriff’s kit.

The document itself (apparently from Douglas Vogt and Paul Irey) is mostly about typewriting, expressing the opinions of people who are not a qualified experts on the subject, based on no recognized methodology. Certainly Vogt, who is in the scanner business, ought to know that some scanners crate halos. In essence the grand jury document argues that ignorance on the writers’ part implies forgery on Obama’s part.

Mike Zullo: Birther misleader

I want to focus on two statements, one made by Mike Zullo before the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officer’s convention June 1, 2013, and one by Mark Gillar in an interview with Mike Volin the following December. I make the comparison to show that birthers who hear what Mike Zullo says can be misled. Here’s Zullo’s statement:

In 1961, the term used to describe black people on a birth certificate was “negro.”  In order to document this we obtained the 1960 vital statistics instruction manual containing the instructions for coding race on a birth certificate that where followed by every health department in the United States, including the Hawaiian Health Department. As you can see, if the parents race was reported as “colored,” “black,” “brown,” or “Afro-American” the Department of Health Services was required to consider the parents a “negro.” For those of you who may be wondering why the 1960 manual was consulted instead of the 1961 manual, it’s because the 1961 manual wasn’t published until 10 days after Barack Obama’s birth…

Anyone who is familiar with birthers knows that it is widely held among them that the Father’s Race (African) on the Obama certificate is not an allowable entry, and therefore the only reasonable purpose for Zullo’s statement would be to confirm that view. Upon careful examination, Zullo doesn’t say that the race reported by the parent is restricted or changed, but only considered “negro” (in context “considered” refers to the application of a set of rules for determining the race of the child). Zullo also does not say who does the considering—it is key operators at the National Center for Health Statistics who enter data from microfilm records from the states). Zullo also does not say that the 1960 manual was used to code Obama’s data, only notes its publication date. Since 1961 data was keyed in 1962, the August 1961 manual is the applicable document for all 1961 data. A careless listener might also think that the Zullo statement was applicable to the Obama certificate, even though the race “African” wasn’t a listed category. Finally Zullo may leave the impression that what he cited from the 1960 manual was not in the 1961 manual, but it is.

Now what happens when a birther hears the Zullo statement? Here is Mark Gillar’s impression:

It’s about law. In 1961 when Obama was born, the 1961 vital statistics coding manual had not come out. They were still using, even in August, they were still using the 1960 vital statistics manual, and what that manual clear states is that if someone represents themself as “African American,” which was abbreviated A. A., if they represented themself as “black,” if they represented themself as “colored,” the clerk at the department of health was still supposed to list them as a negro. And that’s what the 1960 book has. I can give that to you guys. I actually got them to turn that over to me.

Zullo’s “Department of Health Services,” an ambiguous term probably indicating the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal successor agency to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare that issued the 1960 manual becomes in Gillar’s mind “Department of Health,” which would be appropriate for the Hawaii Department of Health or other local health department. In Gillar’s mind, “considered as” (for statistical purposes) became “list them as.” The fact that Gillar makes the statement at all suggests that he also failed to notice that “African” wasn’t on the list in the instructions.

In the infamous tableau of false and misleading statements that was the second Cold Case Posse press conference, perhaps the highlight was the account of Jerome Corsi’s interview with Verna K. Lee, a registrar at the Hawaii Department of Health in 1961, the person who signed Obama’s birth certificate. Zullo attributed very little to Lee beyond the assertion that entries on Hawaiian birth certificates were double checked,  yet I have read birthers say that basically everything in that press conference related to race coding came from Lee, including the fake 1961 race code chart.

Here is what Zullo actually said:

These codings we learned through our investigation, and then locating the mysterious U.K. Lee, which has plagued this thing for four years, where people were wondering who this is, we located Verna Lee. Verna Lee is 95 years old, amazingly sharp. We spoke with her and she confirms to us what I’m going to share with you now.

You can’t have a document coded like other documents double-checked and have a code that says 9, “not stated” and have a piece of information sitting in the box. That just can’t happen. Verna Lee confirmed that for us.

See how easily one could fall into the false impression that Zullo was saying that Lee had confirmed a specific 1961 code and that she had confirmed everything that followed. Does “what I’m going to share with you now” refer to the next paragraph or more? It’s ambiguous. In fact birther listeners widely believe that it was Zullo who interviewed Lee over the phone rather than Jerome Corsi; that is after all what one expects the lead investigator to do.

The human mind expects that points in an argument are relevant and logically consistent, and it will fill in some obvious gaps. I do this myself. In the case of Mike Zullo, filling in those obvious omissions is a mistake because sometimes the obvious relevance and logical connection one would fill in isn’t true.

See also:


Note: I have found it curious that neither Zullo nor Gillar has been willing to provide the title of this 1960 manual. I think I know why.

Everything is about the birth certificate

or so it would seem if you read Birther Report or WorldNetDaily.

NBC News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended for 6 months for misrepresenting his exploits in Iraq and when reporting on hurricane Katrina. There is speculation as to whether he will return to the NBC Nightly News anchor slot after his suspension or whether someone will take over that job permanently. Several names are mentioned for a replacement:

  • Lester Holt
  • Savannah Guthrie
  • Matt Lauer
  • Jake Tapper
  • Katie Couric
  • Jon Stewart :shock:

WorldNetDaily focused on the number 2 slot, Savannah Guthrie, who was NBC White House Correspondent on that fateful day, April 27, 2011, when the White House released President Obama’s long form birth certificate in an early morning press briefing, followed later in the day by a nationally-televised address by the President to say that “we don’t have time for this silliness.” Guthrie appeared on the NBC Nightly News that evening and reported that she had personally handled the birth certificate and “felt the raised seal” that is somewhat difficult to see in the photo she took with her phone and tweeted.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Outside the small world of birther activists and their detractors, Guthrie’s role in the birth certificate story is insignificant, but for those who focus on these issues, Guthrie stands as a testimony to the fact that a significant part of birther conspiracy theories is a lie.

Now WorldNetDaily jumps in with a remarkable article titled, “Obama’s birth certificate to sink Brian Williams’ ‘replacement’?” The article had what appears to be one significant lie attributed to Mike Zullo:

[Zullo] pointed out that, according to former White House attorney Bob Bauer – a Perkins Coie attorney before coming to the White House – Obama never even handled the document.

What Pfeiffer [not Bauer] said was that Obama wouldn’t be holding the certificate during the press conference.

The article itself says not a word to suggest that Guthrie’s birth certificate story will have any effect whatsoever in NBC’s selection of a replacement for Williams, but only talks about Guthrie’s reporting on the certificate, and some remarks from Mike Zullo stating that there is “no evidence of a raised seal,” despite everybody else being able to barely see it on the Guthrie photo. The suggestion, as we so often see at WND, is left to the headline and to the readers’ imagination.

Did Arpaio authorize the Sheriff’s Kit version 1.8.4?

Mike Volin’s “Sheriff’s Kit” DVD has reached version 1.8.4 according to his web site, “Where’s Obama’s Birth Certificate?

My first question whether or not Sheriff Arpaio has authorized his name to go on this DVD. If I were sending out something with someone’s name on it, I would include a prominent statement from the person endorsing the material. If there is an endorsement, it’s not prominent and it’s not in the Cover Letter listed in the contents following:

Sheriff’s Kit
MCSO Cold Case Posse

Documents

  • Mike Zullo’s Affidavit to the Alabama Supreme Court
  • Obama’s Long-Form-Birth-Certificate as found on the White House Website
  • WhiteHouse.gov – Obama’s Long-Form-Birth-Certificate
  • Sheriff Joe Releases Obama Findings March 1, 2012
  • Sheriff Joe Releases Obama Findings July 17, 2012
  • Media Supplemental Report
  • Mara Zebest Report on Barack Obama’s: Long Form Birth Certificate
  • Director Lawrence Romo – Selective Service System
  • Sheriff’s Kit Cover Letter

Video’s

  • What Should Obama’s Birth Certificate Have Looked Like After Being Scanned Into a Computer
  • Obama’s Long-Form Birth Certificate
  • Optimized – A Fancy Way of Saying a File Was Drastically Reduced in Size
  • Conclusion
  • Obama’s Selective Service Registration Card
  • Sheriff Joe Obama ID Fraud Presentation – June 01, 2013
  • Full Press Conference Sheriff Joe Arpaio Barack Obama Birth Certificate July 17, 2012
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio: New Criminal Evidence About To Be Released

Images

  • Obama’s Book Biography
  • Five Examples of a PIKA Stamp from 1980
  • Obama’s Selective Service System Card
  • Obama’s and another Selective Service System Card

I removed all the hyperlinks, since you don’t have the DVD on your computer. On the surface, it looks like the same old stuff. The PDF files all have 2012 dates on them except the Zullo affidavit that is from 2013. The videos all have modification dates in 2013 except one from March of 2014.

A couple updates:

First, some may have noticed that my site looked a lot like Birther Report for a while. I don’t normally link to images off site, and didn’t intentionally do it this time, but the CD image in the article came from Volin’s site. When the birthers figured that out, they replaced the CD cover image with the big graphic that looked like Birther Report. Well I got punked and that’s good fun. The birthers deserve to have a laugh over that.

The other thing is more substantive and that is some evidence that Sheriff Joe really did endorse the Sheriff’s Kit, even to having his picture taken with one.

SheriffsKit

So the answer to the article’s titular question seems to be some kind of a “yes.” It is still very odd that the kit lacks any kind of cover letter from Arpaio.

Old News! Conservative Fact Check retracts birther claim

In a stunning reversal article in December of 2012, Conservative Fact Check, a web site on my Ugly list, said:

Over the holiday break we’ve been taking another look at all the evidence, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the claims that Obama’s birth certificate are just that — claims.

To be clear: it might be fake. And, it might be the case that scientists have genetically engineered a cat that looks, acts, and talks like a dog. Both are possible, but unlikely. If it looks, acts, and barks like a dog, it’s usually a dog.

Why the reversal? Their first reason should be obvious to anyone:

The experts… aren’t.

As for Joe Arpaio and Mike Zullo:

So perhaps TechDude is just a bad apple, right? Perhaps he meant well, and was simply operating under the misguided notion that it was acceptable to fudge here, exaggerate there in pursuit of what he saw as the greater good (as Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s posse was caught doing). There must be efforts by other experts that support the forgery theory, right?

Well… no.