"Birther" to "Certer?" Ending the "It's a fake!" Controversy Before It Begins
Ok editors don't go all "Terms of Servicey" on me because I'm not perpetuating a conspiracy theory, I'm trying to end one before it starts.
You are going to hear about it because it is growing like wildfire on the Web right now.
I'm going to claim layman's prefecture on the issue of the President's birth certificate. After the lefty libel machine known as Media Matters trashed me as a kook here and here for articles I wrote on FoxNews.com and DailyCaller.com about the President's birth certificate, today I have the revenge that comes from having been right. The two predictions I made in my articles came true: 1. The President was born in Hawaii, and 2. The existence of the controversy was his fault for not releasing innocuous information sooner.
Sidebar with MSNBC - the birther controversy was not fueled by racism. It was fueled by the President's furtive action in refusing to show this certificate.
The new controversy has to do with the pdf image released by the White House having "layers." There are some videos out there that show these layers, and they appear impressive, like this one:
As I understand it, if you scan an image to a pdf, there are no layers. You basically get a photograph. However, if you use a software like Photoshop and change things, you get layers - the original image and the new image layered on top of one another.
Or so I thought.
I went online to read the 411 from folks who claim to know much about this sort of thing. I got lost in conversations about OCR and halos and other geeky things. All I accomplished was to become intimidated. Both sides sounded convincing, I assume because I know so little about computers that I'm easy to convince.
Before this thing gets out of control, the makers of Adobe and Photoshop need to come out with a joint statement and explain what is behind this "layered" business. Guys like me can't figure it out.
Another point: Even if it is layered, it's OK. What was released could be an aggregation of information from other sources of Hawaiian vital statistics, which is perfectly legitimate.
Focus on the Clerk's certification at the bottom of the certificate. The words are important:
I certify this is a true copy or abstract of the record on file in the Hawaii State Department of Health.
Notice the "or." Hawaii law allows the Clerk to either photocopy the original certificate, or make an abstract, which is a compilation of information from other sources combined into one document.
There is support this is an example of the latter (again, it's OK if it is).
Recall when media was reporting that Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the Republican director of Hawaii's Department of Health said she saw the birth certificate? Well, she didn't exactly say "birth certificate." She said:
"I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen.
"Original vital records." More letters than "birth certificate." Three words instead of two.
Add to that Governor Abercrombie's botched search for the certificate a couple of months back wherein he seemed to state that the certificate wasn't found, but other information was found.
The older you get, the chances of ever having an "original" birth certificate get smaller. Floods, fires and dopey file clerks can wreck havoc on Municipal Clerk's offices. I'm betting many people born in the USA can't ever get hold of an actual original certificate made contemporaneously with their birth. Sometimes you have to rely on other information on file.
Whatever is on file, whether it's a one document birth certificate or a compendium of other information, it's been certified twice now by the clerk as accurate and stated to be so by the director of the Department of Health.
Now about that debt ceiling...