Christopher Monckton, birther – Part II

For those outside the US, “birtherism” is the conspiracy among the paranoid conservative base that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is fake. Some believe that this is because Obama wasn’t born in the US, others believe it’s because it conceals his “real” father, others believe it has something to do with the race his parents claimed for him, etc. The point is, all that is required to be a “birther” is to believe that Obama’s birth certificate isn’t real.

Previously, Monckton hinted (at a Koch-funded Tea Party rally) that he believed that President Obama was born in Kenya. While he later claimed to be joking, Monckton rejected the idea that the President was definitely born in the US. Prior to that, Monckton conflated Obama with the mass-murdering terrorist Osama bin Laden, and claimed Obama and others seeking to mitigate climate change would “kill tens of millions” in a keynote speech hosted by the right wing, anti-regulation, climate denialism front group Heartland Institute.

Yesterday, Monckton went full-fledged birther on the Dennis Miller show, claiming the President’s birth certificate is a forgery:

I mean, hey you got a president who has a false birth certificate on the Internet, on the White House website…

I don’t know whether he is Kenyan or not… The point is that if I were you, I would want to make absolutely sure that he was born here before allowing him to be elected. And the birth certificate that he put up on that website, I don’t know where he was born. But I do know that birth certificate isn’t genuine…

It appears in layers on the screen in such a way you can remove quite separately each of the individual dates. You use Adobe Illustrator and each of the individual dates is in its own separate layer. This thing has been fabricated. Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio of Arizona has had a team on this for six months. And he has now gone public and said there’s something very desperately wrong with this and of course nobody is saying anything because the entire electorate has been fooled…

I’m no birther [sic], don’t get me wrong… I haven’t a clue where Obama was born and I wouldn’t want to entreat into the private grief behind investigating. But the point is, is what he has done on the White House website is he has put up a document which he is plainly a forgery and I would regard that as a very serious matter.

Par for the course, Monckton doesn’t appear to understand the basic definition of a word he’s using. What he is engaged in is the definition of birtherism.

Monckton’s birtherism- along with his claims of inventing a cure for HIV, of winning a Nobel prize, of being a member of the House of Lords, etc.- is simply crank magnetism in action. Those who are cranks in one area are very seldom cranks in that area alone, be it because they’re shilling for special interests, indoctrinated in an unscientific ideology, or they’re just a bit touched. We see this time and again with Dick Lindzen’s and Fred Seitz’s smoking-cancer denial, Baliunas’s, Michaels’s, Singer’s,  Happer’s, and Seitz’s CFCs-ozone depletion denial, Roy Spencer’s creationism and “DDT = a holocaust” claims, and on and on and on. Those that deny the reality of anthropogenic warming rarely limit themselves to that delusion alone.

The point here is not source degradation. Their arguments, such as they are, should be and are refuted on their merits elsewhere. But for those who like to keep track of such things, crank magnetism just gained another data point.

UPDATE:

Whether or not you like his policies, at least you have to give the guy credit for keeping his sense of humor throughout this nonsense:

5 responses to “Christopher Monckton, birther – Part II

  1. “I wouldn’t want to entreat into the private grief behind investigating”

    What does that even mean?

  2. It’s true that if you view the Birth Certificate PDF in Illustrator it breaks up into components.

    What isn’t true is that this is any evidence of fabrication.

    What it is evidence of, if anything at all, is poor scanning practice, as I could replicate the result scanning in a section of a map and a household bill using OCR software to scan to a ‘searchable PDF’, rather than my scanner’s standard software, which scans to a straight ‘image’ and so doesn’t create these multiple artifacts.

    Nor is it true that ‘each of the individual dates’ is on its own separate layer, unless you’re willing to accept ‘AUG 8 196 ‘ and ‘/ DATE A AUG 8 6 ‘ as ‘individual dates’, where ‘A’ is the first letter of ‘Accepted’ and ‘/’ is a handwritten slash from another handwritten date elsewhere in the document.

    And you’re also prepared to ignore the fact that the remaining sections of the two handwritten dates are lumped in with the overhwelming bulk of the black squiggly bits that make up the document’s information, whether they’re handwritten, typed into the form, or are as originally printed.

    In short, what we have here are scanning artifacts. And, it appears, yet another example of a rush-to-judgement from people who were predisposed to do so in the first place.

  3. Pingback: Monckton Misleads California Lawmakers - Now It's Personal (Part 2)

  4. Pingback: Christopher Monckton, birther – Part III | The Way Things Break

  5. Pingback: Christopher Monckton, birther – Part IV | The Way Things Break

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