Main Menu

Archive | June, 2011

WND trots out yet another Adobe expert

Mara Zebest

Sigh. Here we go again. This time the expert is Mara Zebest and the expert qualification is stated as “author and technical editor for more than 100 books on Adobe and Microsoft software”. This expert appears to know her stuff — the problem is that the stuff she knows is the wrong stuff. As we’ll see in the following article, her claim depends on a false premise.

The WND headline:

Adobe book editor positive: Obama certificate is phony
‘Altered document is manufactured, or in everyday parlance – a forgery’

One notes that all the books attributed to Zebest were on Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator — nothing on Adobe Acrobat (the PDF product) or PDF’s in general. That is a problem because no Adobe software was used to make the Obama long form PDF.

The “full analysis” is what we’ll look at and here’s the Cliff Notes.

  1. She says that “scanned images have a consistent noise and/or grain.” This may be true for images, but not for documents. Document optimization separates the document into layers which are stored at different resolutions and quality, i.e., different noise and grain. Her ignorance of concepts like Adobe Adaptive Optimization1 (read the manual) invalidates her analysis in this section.
  2. She continues to show many examples of shifts from bitmaps to anti-aliased text, but this is normal, and what she shows is pretty obvious when one looks at the optimization layers the software made. See my article Layers and layers, and layers, Oh My! for the images. Restating the same fundamental error in various ways takes up the rest of her technical discussion.
  3. She states that she believed that the document was created in Adobe Photoshop, ignoring that the document properties say it was made by Mac OS X Quartz PDFContext, an inexcusable omission and mark of a sloppy analysis.

One of the marks of the crank conspiracy theorist is the willingness to go beyond their claimed expertise and become an expert on any and every thing. She pontificates on typewriters, and the word “African” the Certificate Number and the missing (but not really) seal.

Garbage in, garbage out

I will concede that the lady is an expert in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. However, as they say: “garbage in, garbage out.” The “garbage in” was the assumption that a genuine document would be a scanned image with no document optimization, and her “analysis” was an attempt to explain the document in light of that assumption. She further, and inexplicably, failed to note in the PDF document properties the actual software used to scan the document. The analysis is an attempt to explain the PDF characteristics based on a false premise, and because of that garbage comes out.

After writing this article, I found out that Zebest is a long-time anti-obama activist (since 2008). That explains the lack of objectivity. Some gems I found from her from 11/22/2008:

This archive radio show on why the media isn’t reporting on the lawsuits against Obama’s eligibility as POTUS. TexasDarlin is one of the callers in on the show and it’s an interesting discussion.


“Reposting link to audio tape… be patient… what you’ll hear from about 12 minutes in until the end will blow your socks off about Obama’s birthplace:” [WRIF interview with Kenyan ambassador]


Also… I’ll repost a FOX interview on the discussion about the insufficient punishment against the illegal use of government agencies to investigate Joe the Plumber.


Also… this video brought tears to my eyes. RUN! (away from Obama) [linked video no longer available]

1 from the Adobe Acrobat 9 manual:

Adaptive Divides each page into black-and-white, grayscale, and color regions and chooses a representation that preserves appearance while highly compressing each type of content. The recommended scanning resolutions are 300 dots per inch (dpi) for grayscale and RGB input, or 600 dpi for black-and-white input. 11/22/2008


WorldNetDaily sues Esquire for zillions over satire

Millions of readers want refund1

Joseph Farah, victim?

In the latest attempt to prop up flagging sales of its fizzling book, Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, Joseph Farah, Jerome Corsi and  their companies are suing Esquire Magazine, its parent company and publisher as a publicity stunt — or that’s how this observer sees it.

Esquire Magazine published an online article May 28, 2011 saying that WorldNetDaily and WND Books were recalling the defective book [made moot by the release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate] and offering refunds to customers.

I said at the time:

As soon as I heard this, I knew it was ridiculous; however, I guess some didn’t get the joke. I wasn’t even going to write about the story, except that the Wall Street Journal called what Esquire did “disastrous” in their own article: How Not to Write Satire. The Journal reports that Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily got all huffy and is exploring his legal options.

I think that anyone who knows Farah would not take a story seriously that said he was refunding anything, and certainly not admitting that there was anything wrong with Corsi’s book. The inclusion by Esquire of a second totally-beyond-belief fake title supposedly written by Corsi, Capricorn One: NASA, JFK, and the Great moon landing cover-up should have clued everybody that the article was satire; this was the equivalent of a label: “HEY, THIS ARTICLE IS SATIRE!!!” If that weren’t enough, the article was explicitly labeled as “humor”:

Continue Reading →


Slick video: 9 lies in 45 seconds!

“Natural Born Citizen for Dummies,” correctly identifies its target audience. It says that the historical record shows US Presidents must have citizen parents, and that liberals are using propaganda and legislative tricks to change it. Of course, the truth is exactly the opposite, as has been shown in numerous articles1 and comments here, not to mention in the Press and in the law journals.

The video is slick and obviously designed to instill confidence in the viewer, to make the viewer of a mind to reject out of hand any opposing view as liberal lies. It’s a classic example of the rhetorical fallacy, “poisoning the well.”

Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a logical fallacy where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say.


Comments are closed on the video so that no counterarguments can be attached. Allowing comments would be a problem in this case because it is easy to verify lies in it. So let’s examine it here, where I will make good on my claim that there are 9 lies in the first 45 seconds. Continue Reading →


Lakin’s appeal

I guess every one knows that Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is appealing his court martial. While it’s a slim chance that he will be able to restore any of the benefits he will lose at his upcoming discharge from the army, he’s trying to salvage something. What is news is that in this time of zero media coverage about anything birther, Lakin got a major article, “Birther Doc Wants Some Benefits”, at the website. Quoting Lakin:

“As an officer, I certainly understand I don’t have the right to ask for somebody’s qualifications, the GPA or the level of training of an elected official,” he said. “But I believe my oath as an officer allowed me to ask the question” about the president’s eligibility.

For details and more quotes from Terry Lakin, check out the link above. Equally interesting, I think, are the comments left on that may give some insight about how those in the military feel about Lakin. And what is a POG POS?

Read more:


Framer cites Vattel on citizenship

John Rutledge of South Carolina

One of the lesser-known framers of the US Constitution was John Rutledge of South Carolina. In addition to being one of the men who met in Philadelphia to draft the US Constitution, he was the first Governor of South Carolina and the second Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. It has been said by some that Rutledge was responsible for the Americans defeating the British during the Revolutionary War: he insisted that the Americans shoot from behind trees rather than standing out in the open.1 He also took with him to the Constitutional Convention a draft Constitution, about 1/3 of which was incorporated into the final document, and chaired the Convention’s five-member Committee of Detail that turned the debate into written language. Rutledge, the product of a London legal education, was appointed Chief Justice by Washington while the Senate was in recess, and he served until Congress adjourned because his appointment was not confirmed.

During the short term of Chief Justice Rutledge, the Supreme Court decided two cases, one of which included a question of citizenship, Continue Reading →


WorldNetDaily announces plan to boost book sales

WorldNetDaily has responded to a slump in sales of its flagship book, Where’s the Birth Certificate?

We’ve been tracking plunging sales over the past month here at Obama Conspiracy Theories. The latest figures from tell the story:

Where’s the Birth Certificate? sales rank at

Click to enlarge

Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily has come out swinging. Farah announced on his web site today that a promotional agreement has been signed between WND and General Mills to put millions of copies of a special fine print edition of WTBC? into boxes of Count Chocula as toy premiums. The promotion should make the book one of the world’s all-time best sellers. Farah noted that if Obama can do it, so can he.

When asked why he chose Count Chocula, Farah replied that this cereal is exactly the thing that the Obama administration is trying to take away from children and, Farah added, “Franken Berry” is for fags. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) was not amused. He responded in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that Farah might be held for one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for each box sold.

The New York Times reports that WorldNetDaily has bulk ordered 50,000 boxes of the cereal.

Anyone who hasn’t realized by now that this is satire, is an idiot.