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My comments get delete on other folks’ blogs.

A comment at ORYR

This exchange appeared over at Obama Release Your Records.

RacerJim: It’s funny indeed how the Obots can explain away each and every anomaly with each and every image of each and every document pertaining to Obama’s birth, citizenship, Social Security number, Selective Service Registration, et al.

Dr. Conspiracy: It’s funny how birthers base their entire world view on a bunch of supposed anomalies which are easily explained.

In most cases, a more accurate statement would be that birthers find things that they do not understand because of their lack of expertise and knowledge, and then call their ignorance an "anomaly" that is unexplained. A great example is the statement that "no one used African American for race on a birth certificate in 1961" when in fact the 1961 federal instruction book for coding birth certificates specifies what to code for the statistical report when somebody enters "African-American" for race. The objection is ignorance, not anomaly.

Birthers, hundreds of them, have scoured every available document, public statement, and photograph related to Obama and have poured over every word, scratch, and detail imposing the most negative possible interpretations. Real life is messy and not everything matches up to some Socratic ideal of perfection. Finding mistakes in the record of a person’s life is normal. Misstatements are normal. It’s true of everybody, and it doesn’t mean fraud.

But at the end of the day, not a single thing in the pile could be considered real evidence. The largest part of the birther "anomaly" store, the supposed forgery of the long form, exploded when it was found, and conclusively proven, that it all was the normal artifacts of an office machine like a Xerox WorkCentre 7655 and Mac Preview. Take a minute to peruse the catalog of things birthers have been wrong about.

http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/bookmarks/debunk/

The issue is not the large list of anomalies in Obama’s records, but the large list of mistakes birthers made about them.

I realize that this is not an audience that is ready to accept the facts, but they are the facts nonetheless.

Eligibility challenger in Pennsylvania

The Baldwin-Whitehall Patch reports that a local resident, one Thomas Barchfeld, wrote a letter to Carol Aichele, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth. In the letter Barchfeld repeats the usual Birther arguments about what it takes to be a “natural born citizen.” He misreads Minor v. Happersett and mentions Orly Taitz. He says Obama is not eligible. I left this reply on the article:

Challenges like this are springing up all over, and the courts are repeatedly saying that folks like Mr. Barchfeld have it wrong. Associate Professor Joseph Hylton of Marquette University Law School recently wrote:

“To cite Minor v. Happersett as the definitive statement of the meaning of the phrase ‘natural born citizen’ is to exhibit an unfortunate lack of understanding of the Supreme Court’s 1874 decision in that case.”

Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi in Georgia cited the Indiana Court of Appeals in the 2009 case of Ankeny v. Governor that said Obama and those like him are eligible. The day before that, the Illinois Board of Elections acting on the recommendation of its legal counsel and Hearing Officer reached the same conclusion.

In January a federal judge in Virginia ruled on yet another of these ballot challenges, saying:

"It is well settled that those born in the United States are considered natural born citizens."

– US District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr.
– Tisdale v. Obama

I appreciate that there are dozens of Internet web sites repeating arguments that "sound good" to folks who are uninformed about history and don’t know how to read judicial opinions. I don’t blame Mr. Barchfeld for getting it wrong after hearing some of the persuasive, but legally bogus material out there.

However, none of these challenges is going anywhere because the judges who rule on them know the law a lot better than the cranks who raise them.

A backlash against competence

I was reading a birther comment over at the Fox News affiliate web site for Dallas – Ft. Worth attached to an article about WorldNetDaily’s comical banner flyover at Cowboy Stadium, a flyover that happened when the domed stadium roof was closed and there were few cars on the parking log.

The comment opened:

That "birth certificate" was a 21-carat fake and everyone knows it.

I typed a reply, concluding:

In many ways the birther movement is a backlash against competence.

One of the reasons that conspiracy theories exist is that some folks have problems with random events in their lives. The demand a framework to explain the great events that swirl around them and threaten to engulf them. It is easier to believe that one is the victim of a known conspiracy rather than an untold number of unknown random events.

The desire to understand events of necessity leads to simplification. The average Joe can’t understand complex explanations of complex events, and so must reject such explanations in favor of simpler ones, and in turn must reject expertise in general.

The birthers in their talking points grab onto simple explanations, and rely on their own for expertise, which leads to volunteer document experts, volunteer judicial bodies and volunteer legal experts – that I would call “second rate” except that they don’t rate at all. In many ways the birther movement is a backlash against competence.

The Doc not important enough for his own story

In a great anticlimax, Jerome Corsi finally got around to outing me at WorldNetDaily, but only as a reference in a story aimed at someone else. The article is Experts say Obama certificate not scan of original document: 2 new reports cast further doubt on image White House released. The article is just more anonymous experts creating a diversion.

This is my reply left at WND:

Dr. Corsi is correct that I didn’t duplicate the Obama certificate PDF in my article, The Doc Got Layers, referenced in his story.

What I did was to scan a birth certificate with Adobe Acrobat, clicked “Optimize Scanned PDF” and observed that the resulting PDF was layered with a colored background and white space where text was, and that sometimes parts of a word were in one layer with the other part of the word in another in another. These are some of the things observed in the Obama White House long form PDF.

I showed that PDF optimization does things that some so-called image experts here at WND said were marks of fraud; they just didn’t know what they were talking about.  However, I didn’t try it with the Mac software. If I had a Mac, I would have tried it. What I should point out, however, is that not one, not one of the “experts” presented here at WND scanned a document on a Mac and used the software indicated in the White House PDF either.

I can be excused because I don’t own a Mac computer, but WorldNetDaily runs almost entirely on Mac computers. What’s their excuse? I would like to see how Dr. Corsi answers that question.

The Hawaii Department of Health says Obama was born in Hawaii and that they  provided him a certified copy of the long form, and they link to the page at the White House where the long form PDF resides. As WorldNetDaily’s own Aaron Klein said on his WABC radio program after the long form was released:

“… the bottom line is that now Obama has done his part to show that he was born in Hawaii. The onus is no longer on Obama to show that. The onus is on somebody else. If somebody else can produce conclusive evidence that Obama was born somewhere else, so that this birth certificate is not real, that’s a different story, but that hasn’t happened, so we have to accept that Obama was born, and this is the evidence as of now, in Hawaii.”

Showing that maybe, possibly someone COULD fake the PDF in PhotoShop or Illustrator is really beside the point. Anyone claiming Obama was not in born in Hawaii now must show that the White House PDF COULD NOT be authentic. Rather than trot out people who know how to use Photoshop and Illustrator, how about someone who has scanned a birth certificate on a Mac? And puh-leeze, no anonymous experts.

Update: 

Subsequent to the publication of this article, all of the essential marks of forgery in the PDF claimed by the birthers were replicated in a simple scan of the certificate on Xerox WorkCentre that was then opened and saved by Preview on a Mac.

Mario Apuzzo’s new blog?

Mario Apuzzo

I’m sure that most readers here are familiar with Mario Apuzzo’s blog: A Place to Ask Questions to Get the Right Answers at the web address http://puzo1.blogspot.com. That blog is a closely controlled discussion where it has been difficult to get a critical comment through moderation. (I haven’t tried lately.)

However there appears to be another blog with the same name: A Place to Ask Questions to Get the Right Answers at the web address http://puzo1.wordpress.com. This blog contains articles signed “Mario Apuzzo” and articles signed “Charles Kerchner” with familiar Obama denialist content. The difference: this blog is not moderated. Continue Reading →

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