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The other birther motive

I rarely look at Twitter, but I glanced at the Twitter app on my phone as I made a rare personal tweet supporting the waffle I was eating at Waffle House. There I saw a post directed @DrConspiracy from none other than Ron Polland, the person behind one of the first two birther document examiner Internet characters who concluded that Obama’s short form was a forgery back in 2008.

Polland, who has a doctorate in instructional media, made a couple of YouTube videos claiming all sorts of criminality at the Hawaii Department of Health, but I have not really noticed him in years. The tweet that came my way wasn’t interesting, and I think I must have gotten it by being added earlier in the conversation (which I have not been able to decipher). Of more note was a comment from Polland, not directed to me:

Obama committed SABOTAGE & ESPIONAGE against Israel & Democrats bitched over Bibi’s talk?

Polland is an ardent supporter of Israel and comments by him over the years suggest that he also believes Obama is bad for Israel. Did this combination lead Polland to become a birther? The historical record doesn’t answer that question, but we can see similar birtherism in others who believe Obama is bad for Israel, such as Orly Taitz who daily attacks all things Muslim, and claims Obama is one of them. Here we have the “chicken and egg” question. Did Polland’s belief lead him to become a birther?  Did Orly Taitz hatred of Muslims lead her to become a birther? I think the answer is yes, at least for Polland.

The early publication of birth certificate forgery claims came via the Israel Insider web site (the site is no longer active). Here is a sample of their friendly reporting of anti-Obama claims:

Meanwhile, yet another front as opened up as a strong attack video shows Obama in 2006 mocking the Bible — Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and the Sermon on the Mount — and argues that Obama himself is an alien to the Judeo-Christian tradition — that his speech reveals him, not just the Reverend Wright, as anti-Jewish and anti-Christ. Islam, not surprisingly, is spared his mockery.

 The Israel Science and Technology web site carried claims that Obama’s long form was a forgery, along with expressing a views antithetical to Obama’s more balanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict, for example:

Is improving economic conditions for Palestinian Arabs conducive to peace?

No, the opposite is true! A landmark study on the subject indicates that the prerequisite for Peace-seeking is not better economic conditions but rather democratic forms of government. Since most Arab countries are far removed from multi-party democracy (see table above), the conditions are not ripe for overall peace in the Middle East. The study concludes that "making  inherently aggressive dictatorships of the region more prosperous will not make them more pacific only more powerful" and more willing to pursue armed violence (see article). This is true not only for conflict with Israel but for Intra-Arab conflicts as well (see most recent examples of Iran-Iraq war, Gulf War, etc.).

I confess that I am not expert enough to spot subtle spin on this issue, but I get the impression that the site is trying to sound balanced, while not being so.

I think someone needs a little push to start believing in nonsense, some sort of bias. A person who is strongly pro-Israel and believes Obama is bad for Israel, might just have that push.

Orly’s approach to web site maintenance

Several readers of this blog are complaining that they are nable to post. Please, contact hosting@networksolutions.com and demand that they fix this glitch ASAP

And that’s the most interesting recent post from Orly Taitz! What’s the world coming to when all an anti-birther gets to write about is maintenance problems on Orly’s web site? Or perhaps this breaking news headline from Orly is more to your taste:

No decisions yet in 5 pending cases

At least she didn’t make that 5 articles. Another major article says that Israel Hanukoglu complained to Orly about a typo in her link to his site, and this somehow turns into harassment of academics. The rest of her stuff is just invective against everybody in the government, accusing of them of treason, and some nasty anti-Muslim bigotry. Pathetic and wholly uninteresting.

A quick scan of Birther Report didn’t get my juices flowing either. Maybe there’s something in the comments, but really, “any day now” is pretty threadbare after all this time.

On the “any day now” theme, Obot1 has declared the birther movement dead — again. Yeah, right.

Israeli biochemist goes birther

Birthers thrive on faux experts, and we have another birth certificate analysis with a coat of credibility painted on in the form a  report at “Israel Science and Technology Homepage.”

It appears that this official-sounding web site is just one guy, Israel Hanukoglu,  who snagged a good domain, and built some hyperlinks to articles on science, particularly by Israeli or Jewish scientists. Hanukoglu has a somewhat distinguished scientific career in biochemistry and one wonders why he would publish an article analyzing Barack Obama’s birth certificate, an analysis that is naive even by birther standards. His essential argument is that the birth certificate is a fake because some parts of things are in one clipping region (usually called “layer”) and other parts are in another. A scientist might have bothered to do an experiment, like scanning a birth certificate himself, and if he had he might have found the same layer separation that I did when I tried the experiment.

Israel Hanukoglu is just another crank birther conspiracy theorist with no credentials in what he’s writing about. He doesn’t even pretend to employ the scientific method with experiment, nor does he cite sources with credentials any better than his.

The report links to The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office birther report of Mara Zebest, The American Thinker, WorldNet Daily, and other equally eminent scientific peer-reviewed journals. It appears we have full-tilt conspiracy crankery brewing, as he says:

Moreover, the lack of action on the part of the members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate, as well as the courts of the United States, despite many previous appeals to these three branches of American government, also raise a concern about how the governmental institutions of the reputedly best, and certainly the most important democracy in the Free World have avoided this issue.

What’s the motivation behind this article? Perhaps Hanukoglu explains it himself:

In my report of March 9, I said that with Barack Obama in the White House, the American government has become an overt enemy. I noted that Obama has made appointments of persons who are openly hostile to Israel. Like him and various Israeli politicians, they advocate an Arab-Islamic state in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. This would lead to Israel’s demise.

Update:

This Israeli page is over a year old, just updated with more hyperlinks. It was already online in May of 2011, explaining why the analysis is so primitive.

Update 2:

Deleted

Since the publication of this article, the subject web page has been deleted. When I wrote the article, I left a contact form comment on the site noting that the article was easily debunked and embracing conspiracy theories made Israeli science look bad. The disappearance could have been the result of other criticism than mine (more likely), or perhaps the page is being updated with a modern version of birther image crankery. An older version of the article is still accessible from the Internet Wayback Machine.

Update 3:

It’s back

http://www.science.co.il/Obama-Birth-Certificate.htm