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We Get Letters! Some Birthers Want it Both Ways.

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post called “Trying to Teach a Pigs to Sing” in which we addressed some of the issues that had been brought to our attention on the “birther” issue. The “birther” issue is where there are some people who claim that the Obama birth certificate is forged.

At the end of the post, (one of four we made on this subject) we said the following:

We are no longer interested in trying to teach pigs to sing. The vast majority of conspiracy theorists, whether they be “birthers,” “truthers,” believers of the “shooter on the grassy knoll,” or “Roosevelt knew of the attack on Pearl Harbor,” cannot be reasoned with. Facts do not matter. Rational discussion does not matter.

To the rest of the birthers who cannot and will not discuss issues and facts, or feel that anyone who disagrees with you is a liberal, an Obama plant, or some other charge made in an ad hominem attack, you are going to have to go to another trough.

This one is closed for you.

Go learn to sing elsewhere.

Why did we say that? Well, it goes back to an assertion we made early on:

One thing that we have noticed over the years is that conspiracy theorists have a thought process that relies more on perception rather than reality. For example, a conspiracy theorist will say, “Look at ‘A’!” as support for his theory. When “A” is de-bunked, the conspiracy theorist will respond with “but look at ‘B’!” After debunking “B,” the conspiracy theorist will say, “Ah! But look at ‘C’!” When “C” is debunked also, they will return to “A” or a variation of “A.” After awhile, with all the permutations of the debunked theories they maintain are legitimate, a person is tired of the battle and simply says “whatever.” The conspiracy theorist will then say “you need to look at all the evidence!” even though you have discredited all of the evidence.

We stand by that assertion. In fact, in talking to some “birthers” via email, we became more and more convinced that there are birthers who are simply incapable of rational or logical thought.

The emails kept coming and after awhile we began to reply with the paragraph above and try to move on. When that became impossible we had our email filter send emails from birthers to our “delete” email folder where they would simply disappear.

We were done with the birther issue.

That is until tonight.

Tonight we received a slew of emails from people on the same subject. All of them had images attached so when we saw them in the “delete” folder, our curiosity was piqued. What could be so important to get that many emails from people?

The emails were images from somewhere with an article written by Paul Irey.

After reading the article, we laughed.

Out loud.

It was that funny.

One of the staff members here at Raised on Hoecakes then called us and basically asked “have you seen this?” referring to the same article.

After a discussion, we decided that because the article is so funny, so ridiculous and so lacking in any logical or critical thinking, we would not be breaking our vow to not write about the birther issue anymore.

We would simply put this in the “Humor” category, which is where you will find it now.

Here is article that was sent to us:

The fact that Irey, whose only experience in typewriters is using one for a few years, should give anyone pause to his conclusions. However, as his lack of knowledge does not stop him, it won’t stop us from addressing the issue he brings forth.

Irey writes:

Because scan lines engage a letter differently each time it is done. So he scanned a bunch of old birth certificates and used a different “t” each time.”

Why?

Because understanding scanners . . . he also had to know that scanning a letter “t” one time and using it all over his document would be conviction assured.

So let’s understand Irey’s theory completely.

If the alleged forger of the document used the same “t” in cutting and pasting the words together onto the birth certificate, the birth certificate would clearly be seen as a forgery.

On the other hand, Irey claims that because the letters are different, that also proves the birth certificate is a forgery.

(Irey’s comparison of different letters can be seen here and here.)

This is pure comedic gold. This is a lack of rational thought at its best. According to Irey, the document is a fake if the letters are the same or if they are different.

Are there any other options other than “the same” or “different?”

Irey admits that the scanning technology would induce errors and differences in the letters, but then fails to take that fact to its logical conclusion. of the scanning would account for the errors and differences he sees. (We brought this issue to Irey’s attention and addressed it here.) His limited understanding of typewriters of the day show leads him to conclude that the typefaces were different, but he never identifies the typeface style or “family.”

In Irey’s world, the document is a forgery no matter what the evidence shows. Or rather, the document is a forgery in spite of the evidence. Irey and other “birthers” are so interested in the conclusion that the birth certificate is a forgery, they either do not or cannot think about what they are saying and how they arrive at that conclusion. It is the conclusion – not the evidence or thought process – that matters. The conclusion and only the conclusion.

This is funny stuff. It really is. Irey puts himself in a logic box, shuts the lid, locks it, throws the key away and some birthers then want to use this as “proof” that the birth certificate is forged.

To be clear, we at Raised at Hoecakes are not arguing that Obama’s birth certificate is real or fake. All we have done is shown how the analysis of the document by some is so ridiculous, so illogical and so lacking in critical thinking, that it is hysterical in a tragic sort of way.

Thanks for the laugh guys.



10 Responses to “We Get Letters! Some Birthers Want it Both Ways.”

  1. chuck tanny says:

    I think it is your analysis which is lacking here. If the document were a simple scan then you would not expect to have pixel to pixel matches between letters. Put another way, each letter should not be an exact duplicate of another letter. However it is also the case that if the document scanned is genuine then the typeset of the typewriter should be the same. That means that all of the same letters should be similar, not having different styles and sizes.

    That is why this document is obviously forged. It contains both pixel to pixel matching letters as well as different typeset styles.

    Gonna be fun once this gets out in the public domain.

    • AAfterwit says:

      I see. So you are saying that the typefaces on the document are different.

      Please identify the different typefaces (by family name.)

      We asked Irey the same question and he could not. Irey is a person who has years of experience as a typsetter and he could not.

      So the accusation that there were different typefaces used is not supported by any real information or proof.

      Secondly, as Irey admits that there are going to be differences from the scanning procedure, where is his statistical analysis on how much a letter would be distorted when scanned at the low resolution Irey used? In other words, if there is going to be some distortion, at what point is the letter or letters outside of the distortion caused by the scanning? You never asked that. One would think that would be important in the analysis, but since that would question the conclusion, you guys dismiss it without any thought at all.

      What is clear is that Irey admits that there are going to be differences in the letters due to the scan. We agree. We informed him of that here in a post. Prior to that he did not believe that would occur. That would account for the difference in letter that are seen. When you also throw in the differences in the background for each letter, the letters are not going to be the same. He, like you, dismisses that thought because it doesn’t fit what you want to believe.

      It you think that being laughed at and ridiculed because you are so wedded to a conclusion is “gonna be fun,” have at it.

      Right now this is very entertaining, but at the same time sad to watch.

      • chuck tanny says:

        What I have done is shown you the fallacy of the whole premise of your article titled “Some birthers want it both way”.

        In an unforged document the letters should all be similar in appearance, but not identical on a pixel to pixel basis because each key strike is not exactly identical and some randomness is entered in the scanning process. That is the point IREY was making and there is nothing inconsistent about that reasoning.

        What is obvious is that a single typewriter could not create the large variations in the size and style of letters that show up in this document.

        That is why his analysis is so damaging for those who want to continue the coverup.

        • AAfterwit says:

          We agree that if the letters were identical there would be an issue. We discussed that in a previous post.

          What is missing, and what you aren’t grasping is that Irey admits that there are distortions in the scanning process. What he doesn’t tell you is that the scanning rate (dpi) is so low that you are going to get great variations in the letters. Not just small variations, but great variations due not only the scanning rate, but also due to the background of the image being scanned, which he never addresses or factors in. Because he does not recognize or establish what would be the error rate or the differences in the letters, his conclusion is simply that the letters are different and therefore the certificate is a forgery. (We won’t even get into how typewriters had differences in letters within a single letter.)

          Until Irey notes a baseline as to what would be an “acceptable variation” in the letters, he has no basis to say that the letters are from different typewriters.

          Irey makes the claim that there are different typefaces but never identifies them.

          His whole premise is that if the letters were the same, the birth certificate is a forgery. If the letters are different, the birth certificate is a forgery. The rest is smoke and mirrors and until the smoke is cleared away, it is just a case where Irey and others will not accept any conclusion other than the birth certificate is a forgery.

          • chuck tanny says:

            “What he doesn’t tell you is that the scanning rate (dpi) is so low that you are going to get great variations in the letters. Not just small variations, but great variations due not only the scanning rate, but also due to the background of the image being scanned”

            This statement makes me think that you are in fact looking to find the truth and I commend you for that. The problem is that the variations that show up are not “random” variations that would occur from scanning noise. These are stylistic differences in the way the the letters are constructed.

            Also, IREY’s analysis is done on AP version of the document which is a higher resolution than the PDF file the White House posted.

            This brings up another area of curiosity. Why does the AP image have a higher resolution than the PDF file the White House released? The AP image is supposed to be a copy of the actual form so why is the white house PDF of a lower resolution? The white house PDF is of a lower resolution than a copy? Doesn’t make any sense unless the resolution was intentionally degraded for some reason.

            • AAfterwit says:

              The problem is that the variations that show up are not “random” variations that would occur from scanning noise. These are stylistic differences in the way the the letters are constructed.

              Okay, that means that you disputing Irey. Let me remind you what he said:

              Because scan lines engage a letter differently each time it is done.

              You can go back to him and ask him why you believe in his conclusion but not the basis for that conclusion.

              These are stylistic differences in the way the the letters are constructed.

              That is your contention. We understand that. “Stylistic differences” would mean a different typeface. Please identify the typefaces that were used. It should be very simple.

              If you believe Irey, it should be easy to show what amount of distortion in a document would be present given the scanning issue (and remember, the scan has been done at least twice for Irey’s “proof.”)

              Why does the AP image have a higher resolution than the PDF file the White House released?

              Images are optimized for web use. One can even set the resolution in a pdf document. Therefore, because the green version was released online, it would most likely be at a lower resolution while the photostatic copy would be at a higher resolution. Lower resolution images are smaller in file size for faster transmittal across the internet.

              Here at Raised on Hoecakes we design images in a higher resolution and then run them through an optimizer to get the appearance we want with the smallest file size. The smallest file size has the lowest resolution.

              In summary, you have at least five issues that you have not – and we suspect cannot – address.
              1) What is the baseline degradation for letters in a document that is 50 years old, typed on a security paper, and scanned at least twice?
              2) Secondly, as you are disagreeing with Irey on the scan lines and the errors he introduces into his analysis, please explain why there would not be the differences that we see in letters because if there were not scan line differences, the letters would all be the same.
              3) Please explain how the background of the security paper would not introduce further degradation into the scan. It is precisely because of that degradation that security paper as was used.
              4) Please explain how letters – not security documents but correspondence from the era – will not have all the letters in a document be the same. One of the problems with your theory and Irey’s belief is that the impression from struck by the head on the typebar would be the same every time. They are not. As that is the case, how can you expect differences – even differences that appear to be “stylistic” – not to be present?
              5) Please identify the typefaces that are being used in the document.

              • chuck tanny says:

                I contend that the two capital R’s in IREY’s example #3 and #145 could not have been struck by the same typewriter key.

                Your quote is this: “This is pure comedic gold. This is a lack of rational thought at its best. According to Irey, the document is a fake if the letters are the same or if they are different.”

                What I have demonstrated repeatedly is that YOUR reasoning in that statement is false. IREY was correct that the letters could not be identical, but also couldn’t show stylistic differences if the document was genuine. In effect I have refuted the entire premise of your article because IREY was right in his analysis and you either did not comprehend what he was saying or misinterpreted it to try and refute him. In either case, I suggest that readers look at IREY’s work and judge for themselves.

                • AAfterwit says:

                  I contend that the two capital R’s in IREY’s example #3 and #145 could not have been struck by the same typewriter key.

                  You can contend all you want. That doesn’t mean it is true. Here are the two letters superimposed on each other. Letter #3 is in black. Letter #143 is in red.

                  Are there differences? Yes. As we said there would be. Are there “stylistic differences?” No.

                  Furthermore the large “R” is the two “R’s” in Irey’s chart as given. The smaller “R’s” are those in what would be a comparable 12 point size, which would most likely have been the font size used. (If not, it would have been smaller, not larger)

                  As anyone can see the differences are within what one would expect due to the scan errors alone, much less the “noise” errors due to the background, etc.

                  Once again, if this is a different style or typeface, what are the typefaces being used?

                  but also couldn’t show stylistic differences if the document was genuine.

                  The problem is that neither you nor Irey have demonstrated any stylistic differences. What you both do is make the accusation without any proof that the letters are a different typeface.

                  you either did not comprehend what he was saying or misinterpreted it to try and refute him.

                  We aren’t misinterpreting Irey at all. What you fail to realize is that Irey’s original assertion was that the document was forged because the letters were different. AFTER that got shot down for a variety of reasons, Irey changed his argument. Same conclusion, different argument. What he did not change was the faults in the process of his analysis. We understand Irey’s original contention quite well. It was fraudulent as evidenced by his changing his conclusion away from simple “differences” to “stylistic differences.” Why would he do that? Why would a so called expert change the wording of a conclusion but not address the fallacies in his process and analysis?

                  There is only one reason – he is only interested in the conclusion, and not the supporting evidence and data. You are happy to buy into that. Good for you.

                  We totally understand Irey’s contention. What Irey relies on is that you aren’t willing to see that the “stylistic differences” are due to errors he either induced or failed to compensate for. That isn’t proof. That is error piled on error piled on error.

                  We have been more than kind in this discussion and we asked for 5 simple answers to 5 simple questions.

                  1) What is the baseline degradation for letters in a document that is 50 years old, typed on a security paper, and scanned at least twice?
                  2) Secondly, as you are disagreeing with Irey on the scan lines and the errors he introduces into his analysis, please explain why there would not be the differences that we see in letters because if there were not scan line differences, the letters would all be the same.
                  3) Please explain how the background of the security paper would not introduce further degradation into the scan. It is precisely because of that degradation that security paper as was used.
                  4) Please explain how letters – not security documents but correspondence from the era – will not have all the letters in a document be the same. One of the problems with your theory and Irey’s belief is that the impression from struck by the head on the typebar would be the same every time. They are not. As that is the case, how can you expect differences – even differences that appear to be “stylistic” – not to be present?
                  5) Please identify the typefaces that are being used in the document.

                  The fact that you have chosen not to answer them shows the fallacy in your argument. It shows the fallacy in Irey’s “letter.”

                  But you and fellow birthers won’t look at anything other than your “contentions.”

                  Facts don’t matter to you. Faulty analysis doesn’t matter to you. Conclusions that don’t match the data don’t matter to you.

                  That is why all of this is so funny.

  2. Robert says:

    I’ve asked before and will do it again…Who are you and what are your credentials?

    Who are you to shoot people down and don’t even have the decency to identify yourself?

    • AAfterwit says:

      Who I am is not an issue, Robert. In fact, if one attempts to extend your thinking, who are you to question who I am? How do I know that your name is “Robert?” Do you think that who I am or who you are adds or detracts anything from the discussion or analysis? Who I am does not have anything to do with the facts that I have presented. As to “shooting people down,” once again, you seem to think that a name or status means a person will or will not tell the truth. If my telling the truth “shoots someone down,” so be it. My loyalty is not to a person, to a cause or to you. My loyalty is to the truth.

      That is what you cannot and will never understand

      We have explained the procedures, the line of thinking, and the conclusions.

      If you can deal with them, fine. As you have not, there is no reason to go further with any discussion with you. As we said repeatedly, some birthers are not willing to examine rational thoughts and logic that lead to a conclusion that is contrary to what they believe. You fall into that category.

      You haven’t addressed anything we have said other than to feel slighted and feel that we do not have the right to remain anonymous on the internet. So be it.

      You are one of the birthers who sends us tons of propaganda and now want to get upset not because of the veracity of what we said, but you don’t the real names of the staff here at Raised on Hoecakes.

      As we said to you earlier, throughout history, people have written anonymously for any number of reasons. People have reasons for wishing to remain anonymous that are not known to you and more importantly, valid if you do or do not personally approve of them.

      If you want to talk about our findings, fine. You are welcome to do so. If you want to talk about something that is not relevant to those findings, your presence will not be accepted here.

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