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Disgusted birther leaves country

Paul Irey (pictured right) knows how to use a typewriter, but not so much how typewritten documents are converted into electronic documents through scanning and image processing. His biased pseudo-expert analysis of Barack Obama’s birth certificate and other documents has been foundational in several birther lawsuits, such as those by Douglas Vogt and Orly Taitz. Most recently he has weighed in on behalf of Chris Strunk in the ongoing attempt to revive his 2012 suit against the New York Board of elections. (Nothing Irey could say can remedy Stunk’s lack of standing.)

Charles Kerchner has published an email from Irey in which he says [italics replaced by underscores]:

Meanwhile I am leaving the country to reside elsewhere.  I may stay out of the country regardless of the outcome of my efforts … as our national problems are not all caused by this present usurper … that to me seem impossible to solve … mainly due to the tightly controlled media that prevents information such as I have described here from ever reaching you.  Fear is not the reason for my leaving.  It is disgust with the amazing amount of corruption and disregard for our constitution … and the likelihood of serious “fundamental” changes in the future.

One has to note with irony the fact that the “information” that Irey says is suppressed is being discussed right now on this Internet web site.

I had the opportunity to talk to Irey when he appeared on the RC Radio show way back in 2011. I found him a sincere fellow who was totally unable to see straight when it came to looking at evidence about Obama. He said he knew Obama’s birth certificate was a fake before he even looked at it!

I suspect that reinforcement from folks like Strunk, Vogt, Kerchner and perhaps rightwing nut job web sites, trying to outdo each other in exaggeration of their imagined usurpation of the US presidency, has gotten Irey so worked up that he’s actually leaving the country. If he’s leaving for negative reasons, then I feel sorry for him.

One of the great insights in my life is “it’s not about me.” That principle guides me away from making grand symbolic statements, such as leaving when some people don’t act the way I think they should. The proper response is to engage those I disagree with and work to change things. Irey has the right to his politics and his view on how the country ought to run, even though I think he is 100% wrong on some of his conclusions about President Obama. Irey’s leaving the country isn’t going to change anything, and is a futile gesture.

Fogbow fields fresh forum format: folks find few flaws

Visitors to The Fogbow forums today found a new look presented by new forum software, IP Board. While many topics are covered at The Fogbow, I know it as the most active of the anti-birther online venues. Existing content and user accounts were migrated to the new software. You can read the details of the conversion process and what’s happening here and listen to “Foggy and Dr. Ken Answer Questions about IP Board” tonight (25 August) on RCRadio at 8 PM (UTC-4).

Popular Politics Internet Radio with RCRadio on BlogTalkRadio

I personally like the new look that I find cleaner and easier on the eyes. The new software has a few cool features; for example, if you hover your mouser over a user’s hyperlink (not the avatar), a little window pops with information about that user including what they are doing.

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Search is neatly consolidated into a single search bar with options:

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There is also a mobile version of the forum, accessible automatically on mobile devices (here shown on an iPhone) with a button (not shown) at the bottom to switch to the full site:

IMG_0797

A number of rough edges remain after most of the big stuff has been ironed out. Externally-hosted user avatars didn’t convert, so those users will have to upload those images. The nifty search is also not working. Firefox users will be flying without a spell checker, although Chrome is said to check spelling OK. At present the venerable [sekrit] tag isn’t implemented (I think it’s called “spoiler” now). In a few instances, the BBCode isn’t being interpreted.

So go check it out.

RC Radio interview with Stephen Lemons

I’m so excited!

Since Mike Zullo hasn’t fled the country yet, I’ll have to settle for second best: Reality Check Radio’s special show Wednesday, June 11 at 9 PM. RC’s guest will be award-winning journalist Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times, who broke the story of Joe Arpaio’s relationship with Seattle scammer Dennis Montgomery.

From RC Radio:

Stephen Lemons who writes for the Phoenix New Times at the Valley Fever Blog will be my guest. Stephen will discuss his recent expose into the dealings between Sheriff Joe Arpaio and scammer Dennis Montgomery. Stephen learned that Arpaio is using Montgomery to find dirt on US Attorney General Eric Holder and Federal Judge Murray Snow both of whom have been a thorn in [Arpaio’s] side of late. Could this be the “Universe Shattering” news that Carl Gallups and Mike Zullo have been promising for months?

Listen:

Find Additional Politics Podcasts with RCRadio on BlogTalkRadio

Breaking: Arizona Corporations Commission responds to complaint against Cold Case Posse

Dissolution threatened

Today the Arizona Corporations Commission issued a letter to Arizona resident Brian Reilly, containing this statement:

We have received your complaint regarding the above company. In these situations, our process is to send a letter to The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse, in care of their statutory agent, informing them that we have information that they have been without a valid statutory agent and/or known place of business address, or that they have failed to notify us of a change in one or both of those addresses.

If we do not receive a response back within the specified time period, we will begin the administrative dissolution process. If we do receive a response from The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse, or if they change their statutory agent and/or known place of business addresses in our records, we will act accordingly, based on the information they provide.

The time allotted for a response is 15 days.

Listen to Brian Reilly discuss the letter on Reality Check Radio. For background on the story, see my article: “Cold Case Posse plays fast and loose with the law.”

Forensically speaking

I was reading Douglas Vogt’s petition to the Supreme Court and noticed this sentence (presumably ghost-written by Montgomery Blair Sibley).

Attached to the Notice of Commission was Vogt’s publicly-available, 95 page affidavit in which he demonstrated forensically the existence of twenty (20) separate points of forgery in the Certificate of Live Birth (“COLB”) of Barack Hussein Obama, II (“Obama”).

Forensics is a science, the scientific method of gathering and examining information about the past, a discipline that to my knowledge Vogt has never practiced nor received training in. Vogt’s affidavit doesn’t cite any published works on forensic science, nor does he allude to having any background whatsoever in questioned document examination. He is a self-made expert. Indeed Vogt expresses disdain for the forensic certification, characterizing it as meaningless at Birther Report:

Paul Irey and myself have over 83 years experience in the graphics/type and scanner business. A forensic document examiner takes a course over the internet, pays $800 and 98% of them pass and get the certificate. I had to send my chapter on evidence of computer manipulation to the Arizona Sheriffs office who sent it to Reed Hayes so he would learn more about Photoshop and how Adobe created the JBIG2 compression layer. He did not know it. He is a hand writing expert and worse yet he only worked from the PDF copy that there was no chain of custody. He is NOT an expert on type and what Paul and I covered in my affidavits.

It serves Vogt’s purpose to make sweeping generalized aspersions about document examiners and their qualifications, because Vogt himself has no such qualifications. It is true that there are forensic certification diploma mills, but the organization certifying Reed Hayes is not one of them, nor is the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners that requires, for example, an undergraduate degree plus two years of full-time training at an accredited forensic laboratory and current employment in the field, and in order to apply to take oral, written and practical certification tests, must provide references from three certified examiners. In short, Douglas Vogt could not become ABFDE certified.

Vogt himself seems to have been completely unaware of JBIG2 compression until the anti-birthers told him about it (it is completely absent from his earlier reports) and he certainly has no “chain of custody” associated with his puttering around. Given that Obama’s birth certificate appears to the first document Vogt has ever examined “forensically,” I would think it fair to call him a “beginner” rather than an “expert.”

The reason that Vogt is not an expert, and the reason he is not qualified to make the claims he does is:

  • Vogt uses no recognized methodology: he makes it up as he goes along
  • Vogt cites no recognized authority
  • Vogt doesn’t look at evidence objectively, discarding, for example, any published birth certificate that contradicts his numbering theories
  • Vogt freely misrepresents regulations and statutes to try to prove false statements.
  • Vogt has no prior experience in examining forgeries.
  • Vogt has never even taken so much as a single course in forensic document science.

Judge Malihi, an administrative law judge in Georgia, summed it up in his decision in the case of Farrar v. Obama, speaking of Douglas Vogt and Felicito Papa:

neither witness was properly qualified or tendered as an expert in birth records, forged documents or document manipulation

As for Paul Irey, he said that he was certain Obama’s birth certificate was fake before he looked at and was just trying to justify that belief–he lacks scientific objectivity. Here’s a section from the transcript of Irey’s appearance on Reality Check Radio:

Irey: … I started to study it, knowing it had to be a forgery, and just looking for what I could find.
Foggy: You knew it was a forgery before you started studying it?…
Irey: Yes, yes. I knew it was a forgery.
Foggy: How’d you know that?
Irey: I had information from a government worker who had a friend at one of the agencies who come back to me after we had a big debate during the time Obama had been, uh, announced for office [inaudible] legitimacy, where’s the birth certificate? We were talking about that way back when, and he debated with me. Went down to his agency and advised me that, uh, that I was right basically. That there was no birth certificate in the records. But his agency was not going to, uh, do anything about it more or less. So I kind of went in with his background. It sort of converted his attitude. I could tell how his attitude changed after that, because he was no longer supporting Obama. I was supporting Colin Powell….
Foggy: I’m not asking you to identify the guy, but can you tell us like what agency? Was it an intelligency agency? I mean can you give us a hint?
Irey: Yes, I can. It was the Secret Service.
Foggy: OK
Irey: As you know, the Secret Service is, one of their responsibilities is to vet. …

Of course, the Secret Service doesn’t vet presidential candidates, and there is no reason that they would have a birth certificate in their files for any of them.

Irey’s analysis consists primarily of blown up copies of typewritten text. Irey claims 57 years experience in typesetting, but nothing in his report is about typesetting; it is about typewriters, and Irey describes his typewriter experience as: I’m also four years experience in typing with a typewriter (Taitz v. Elections Commission testimony). Irey also says that he used Photoshop from the beginning, but the best Irey could hope to  do with such expertise would be to show that the White House PDF could have been created by Photoshop, not that it wasn’t created by something else, like a Xerox WorkCentre 7655. (I should add that no birther has ever produced a fake birth certificate using Photoshop that has all of the characteristics of Obama’s certificate.) Irey has no experience with the electronic format of a PDF so as to find any unique signature of Photoshop.

Vogt’s Supreme Court petition will be denied.