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Light fuse and run away: Paul Irey finds another “anomaly”

Paul Irey once more proffers a bogus argument that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery, and then leaves the country.

In what he calls an “incomplete study,” Paul Irey, amateur birther image sleuth,  professional typewriter user, and newly minted American expatriate1, has pointed out yet another “anomaly” in Obama’s long form birth certificate that he thinks may be the “best yet.” Irey says:

… I feel that this particular evidence is impossible to refute.

Irey’s argument, in a nutshell, is that comparing Obama’s birth certificate to another example seems to indicate that the security paper pattern on one is a different size than the security paper pattern on the other. For your reference, here is the image Irey made to show his observation (click to enlarge):

The Hawaii Department of Health does not routinely issue birth certificates like the long form supplied to President Obama any more. It requires a special waiver. The “Alan” certificate was reportedly printed in 1998, and it was almost certainly made prior to the Department of Health adopting its 2001 policy to stop issuing photocopied certificates. That means 13 years elapsed between the creation of the two certificates, which hardly qualifies as “from the same period” as Irey describes it. I am not suggesting that the security paper changed in those 13 years because while possible, it is to my mind unlikely; however, the method of photocopying the book onto the paper, the copy machine and its settings are very likely to have changed.

Irey doesn’t actually explain his reasons, why he thinks the security paper in the two images should be the same. It looks like Irey did what I would have done for a first pass, “calibrate” by resizing the images to match up the printed text. If one does that (and I tested it myself), the Obama security paper basket weave pattern does appear smaller than that on the Alan certificate, and I get a result just like what Irey presents. That calibration method is valid if and only if the text used for calibration is the same size on both certificates. It turns out that it isn’t.

Doug Vogt states in Point 5 of his Washington State lawsuit affidavit, that the Obama certificate was reduced to 87.5% size before printing onto the security paper. The Alan certificate was also reduced before printing. I discovered this by taking a sheet of Simpson Design Secure™ paper, the paper that I believe is used by Hawaii to print birth certificates, and simply typing on it. I then scanned that text and adjusted the Alan certificate’s text to the same size. The pattern on the security paper in the Alan certificate appeared much larger than the real typewritten example, showing that the Alan certificate printing was reduced. How much? To get a number, I took the size of the clip of the Alan certificate I was using to match text. The width of the clip was 2774 pixels. Next, I reduced the size of the clip so that its security paper background matched that of the real typewriting on security paper scan, and the clip width became 1926. That is, the Alan image by my calculation was reduced to roughly 70% size before it was printed on security paper.

So naturally when you shrink Obama’s certificate down to match the smaller text of the Alan certificate. the pattern on the security paper background gets shrunk too—what we see in the Irey figure.

Irey doesn’t say how he calibrated his images, but it is clear that the text size ended up being the same for both. Since the Alan certificate was printed smaller than the Obama certificate, we should not expect the background security paper to match when shrunk to make the text the same size.

I haven’t done all the work there is to do on this, specifically trying to use the difference in printing size to see if the security paper background enlargement exactly matches what it should be based on my calculations. I only showed that it changed in the right direction. A thorough job would also verify Vogt’s number for Obama’s certificate.

1For more on Irey leaving the country, see my article: “Disgusted birther leaves country.”

OAS supporters tout fake photo of event

If you do a Google Image Search on the following image, it may be described as a “Tea Party event” perhaps because it has appeared today on the Internet as an Operation American Spring attendance photo.

That copy comes from Before It’s News and linked from Birther Report. That’s quite a crowd! Unfortunately for the OAS folks, it’s not from today or yesterday. That’s really a photo of the 50th Anniversary of the March 8, 2013 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the iconic “I have a dream” speech from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s not cool to fake images and try to mislead people. Tsk, tsk.

Breaking News–recycled from 2012

I noticed something familiar in the Twitter feed that pointed to an article published today at the Resist The Tyranny site. It starts off:

“NEW DISCOVERY: A government document found buried in the online reference section of a Boston Public Library archive bolsters a growing mountain of evidentiary data against Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be president.

This is a good example of birther recycling. There’s hardly anything “new” about the story. It’s nothing but an excerpt from an old article at The Last Great Stand, from August of 2013, and it wasn’t a “NEW DISCOVERY” even then.

The story originated at the Daily Pen blog in 2012, one of the birther web sites that intentionally lies about evidence. Indeed, it was through researching that story that I found solid proof in INS statistical reports that the President wasn’t born in Kenya.

You can read my March, 2012 debunking: “US citizen births in Africa – rare in 1961” and the startling follow-up article, one of my all-time favorites: “Born in Africa myth crushed under weight of its complexity.”

Arduini bites Vogt

Tenacious debunker Frank Arduini has sunk his teeth into Douglas Vogt’s Seattle Court filings and come up with a new report in his series of debunking major birther documents,  “20 Shades of Vogt: Digital Document Forensics for Amateurs.”

I started debunking Vogt’s 20 points of forgery, but tired of the effort, plus I never could properly use the word “prolix” in a sentence. Arduini had the endurance and the grammar to pull it off.

Woodman writes retrospective

John Woodman, computer guy, author, and birther forgery debunker extraordinaire retired a year ago to devote himself to his family and his real job. Woodman’s book Is Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate a Fraud? remains the seminal work documenting and debunking the twists and turns of the birther mind trying to find an excuse to deny the evidence of President Obama’s birth certificate.

An important event in forgery debunking happened in 2013 with the publication of evidence that the White House birth certificate was scanned on a Xerox WorkCenter 7655 office machine and then rotated with Preview on a Mac, and thereby explaining pretty much the whole birther forgery “evidence.”

Now John Woodman has published a year-end “Epilog” to the forgery debunking saga, summarizing the old and new evidence, and putting the last nail (just kidding) in the birther certificate forgery coffin. Now that the nail is in, birthers wishing to revitalize the corpse of their theories must obtain one of these before moving the goalposts.

Who, or why, or which, or what is Harrison J. Bounel?

Somewhere in this world, there is a database record created in November of 2009, encoded in bits and bytes, that has contains the name “Harrison J. Bounel,” the address of President Obama’s house in Chicago and the social-security number President Obama used on his 2009 Income Tax return and his 1980 Selective Service System registration. In another record in some database there is an entry for Barack Obama with the date of birth “1890” (and others with his correct date of birth, and one or more with the month and day switched).

From this, the birthers have spun the theory that Harrison J. Bounel was a real person, born in 1890, who got a social-security number in the 1970’s in Connecticut, immediately moved into a Hawaiian nursing home, and died. Barack Obama, so they say, then started using that social-security number for some unexplained reason.

Despite efforts by the birthers who are real private detectives, none of the details of the theory have been verified. For example, no other trace of anyone named Harrison J. Bounel has ever been found, living or dead, in Hawaii or Connecticut, or anywhere else. He’s not in the US Census records. He’s not in the Social Security Death Index. He’s nowhere except that one singular database entry. Bounel is not associated with the date “1890” in any record, but the birthers nevertheless adamantly insist that’s when he was born.

I wouldn’t even mention this loony theory except that I’ve been bombarded with it in comments over at WorldNetDaily from people who firmly believe it’s true. Let me bring up some objections to the theory:

  1. If Harrison J. Bounel were a real person, he should have left more records behind. If he died in Hawaii, he’d be in the public Hawaiian death index.
  2. The Bounel database record was created in November, of 2009, when someone born in 1890 would have been 119 years old.
  3. It’s a notable coincidence that Bounel appeared in a record with Obama’s social-security number just one month after Orly Taitz published the President’s social-security number on the Internet (meaning that anyone could have learned of it, along with Obama’s name and public home address).
  4. Obama used the social-security number for 30 years, filing income taxes with the IRS (who verify numbers with names and dates of birth) without any problem.
  5. The Social Security Administration has said in court filings that they don’t have any records for a Harrison J. Bounel born in 1890.

What is more amazing about this birther theory is that the theory itself doesn’t account for its central evidence, the database record. The database record itself doesn’t provide so much as a clue as to what it is a record of, nor where it came from, and the birthers don’t even have a speculation that explains it. If Bounel actually existed and was born in 1890, he was most certainly dead in 2009 and not creating database records. Obama would never use Bounel’s name. So if Obama didn’t do it, and Bounel didn’t do it, there really only remains two options: the record is a mistake or it is fraudulent and from some third party, and if that is the case why are we even having this discussion?

So I offer the birthers two challenges:

  1. Prove that Harrison J. Bounel, born 1890, existed.
  2. Provide some scenario, plausible even by birther standards, that explains the database record.

Put up or shut up.