Dr. Ron Polarik’s analysis of Barack Obama’s birth certificate

“Ron Polarik” (not a real name?) published an analysis of the Barack Obama birth certificate and concludes that it is a forgery. (That link has stopped working).

[Since I wrote the following article, I ran across a scientific critique of Dr. Rod Polarik conclusions. If anyone believes Polarik still, then visit that critique. What follows is not scientific, but just some surface observations.]

Polarik, unlike previous analysts, actually compared Obama’s certificate to what looks like the same version certificate. For this reason alone, some attention to Polarik is warranted.

That attention, however, is a sore task because Polarik’s web page is utterly huge. A number of things are troublesome about his analysis, and I will detail them here, followed by my conclusions.

Suspicious point number 1: Usually folks who talk on and on about how objective they are, and how they lack preconceived notions, do so to cover up a real lack of objectivity. If one is truly objective, then ones argument alone proves it without extra protestation. On the other hand, he is more than willing to use the “poisoning the well” fallacy to dismiss others more reasonable arguments (by claiming that FactCheck.org is staffed by Obama supporters, for example, but providing no evidence that this is true). Claims of harassment by critics is common among fringe theorists.

Suspicious Point 2: If the guy is just trying to analyze documents, and came into the process so open-mindedly, why use language like “felony fraud”. It sounds like his intent is to slam Obama, not to make an objective point about documents.

Suspicious Point 3: Since the fellow won’t provide his real name, one cannot verify his credentials nor hold him accountable if he is incompetent or lies. [Since writing this point, I have learned that he claims that his name really is “Ronald Polarik, MS, PhD” although I couldn’t find his name in the dissertation database and others report not finding him the white pages.]

Suspicious Point 4: He says: “There is conclusive and irrefutable evidence that the COLB image created and distributed by Obama’s campaign to the Daily Kos, Annenberg’s Factcheck, and the St. Pete Times, Politifact, is, unquestionably, a false identification document.” That’s a rather arrogant claim (given how weak his evidence is).

Suspicious Point 5: Frequent use of “poisoning the well” fallacy.

Suspicious Point 6: Questioning the motives of people who disagree with him.

[Plowing through this stuff still looking for the evidence…]

Suspicious Point 7: Claims “experience and specialization in photography and digital imaging” but never says what the experience is.

Suspicious Point 8: In a follow-up posting, Polarik claims that he has done document imaging work for vital records agencies, but somehow never before saw the most common form of birth certificate there is.

Suspicious Point 9: He speculates to make his point, My bet would be that the completion of the COLB is not an automated process. Heck, every year when I have to renew my tag at the DMV, the clerks still have to manually type in my information. So, it’s a good guess that it happens in Hawaii.” Did you see the logical leap there, “my DMV is a state bureaucracy, the Hawaii Department of Health is a state bureaucracy, therefore they use the same printing technology.”

Suspicious Point 10: I work in the vital records industry and I know that his speculation about how requests work is total bunk. His evidence: “I believe”. Clerks don’t type information into a form for printing, the computer record is programmatically merged into the form for printing.

Suspicious Point 11: He claims (and says it’s important) that every birth certificate in Hawaii is printed on the same network printer. Why would that be the case? He offers no evidence.

Suspicious Point 12: The thing is to darned long. The reader is totally fatigued before the first bit of evidence appears (assuming that it appears, as I am half an hour into it and still haven’t seen any).

Suspicious Point 13: “No matter how many challenges to my conclusions have come my way, I have never wavered from the inescapable truth, that an image of someone’s real COLB had been markedly altered to look like it belonged to Obama”. Another hallmark of cranks, making “never wavering” a badge of honor. He’d be more credible if he wavered some.

Suspicious Point 14: (Finally some “evidence”) He points out that all 4 images containt the same anomaly, “On all of these images, there is a telltale “dot” (a piece of dirt left on the scanner glass) that proves they all came from a single source file.” So, of course they were all the same file (reduced in resolution for various purposes). Nothing here. Who claimed they were different?

Suspicious Point 15: He makes a big deal out of the non-issue of “format conversions”.

Suspicious Point 16: He makes a big deal out of the non-issue of color depth.

He gets one right: “If Obama’s real birth record does not match anything on the forged image, regardless of what it actually says, then that is prima facie evidence of document fraud” only there’s no evidence of such a difference.

Suspicious Point 17: Claims that FactCheck.org is run by Obama contributors. A search of the FEC web site does not agree. I checked the director and the deputy director, and a sample of staffers. None had made ANY political contribution to anyone, including political parties (common practice for journalists).

Suspicious Point 18: Excuse of “I was also aware of other fabricated evidence that he produced, but I had pledged to a friend that I would keep the revelations to myself.” This is in reference, I assume to TechDude, the AtlasShruggs.com analyst.

Suspicious Point 19: “That’s the Catch-22 in ordering a COLB: you only get back what you correctly request to see. If the name of the father on the form does not match the name of the father on the official birth record, then what you get back is a blank space where the father’s name would be.” No, if the request doesn’t match, you don’t get a birth certificate. The father’s name would only be blank if there were no father’s name in the computer record.

Suspicious Point 20: He makes detailed comparisons between HIS scanner and it’s lamp and it’s software and compares it to some unknown model scanner and software. At the pixel level, would anyone expect them to be the same?

Suspicious Point 21: He makes a big deal about the certificate not being folded, but maybe it was never folded. It doesn’t HAVE to be folded to be valid does it? If the certificate was picked up at the records office, it would not have been folded.

Suspicious Point 22: He makes a big deal about the seal not being visible, even though his own image of the “Michelle” certificate doesn’t have a visible seal either. Explain that!

Suspicious Point 23: He says: “The major problem with a COLB is that the birth record it represents could have been requested late, after a child was born, and the place of birth as recorded may be anywhere in the world”. That’s fine. Obama’s certificate says that the LOCATION OF BIRTH is Honolulu. Further the fact that only 4 days separate Obama’s birth and his registration would preclude this late registration scenario.

Basically, putting aside all the techno-speak, all the speculation, all the misstatements about vital records practice and all the misstatements of law, Polarik’s argument rests on one essential premises:

The State of Hawaii only has one laser printer, one registrar’s stamp and one embossing seal. And that seems very unlikely to me. More likely there’s a printer, stamp and seal in the front office for the walk-in requests and a set in the back office to handle the mail — or multiples depending on volume.

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20 Responses to Dr. Ron Polarik’s analysis of Barack Obama’s birth certificate

  1. Kevin says:

    Well, start organizing for the 2012 campaign if you feel that way.

    You might easily be able to create a fake birth certificate image, but I do not think you could get the director of some state health department to issue a press release saying your son’s birth registration was on file in their state, when it really wasn’t. And I do not think you could get your sons a US passport if you printed it out and sent it in with the application.

  2. JOHN TEETS says:



  3. TRUTH says:

    I hope your right, and they can concentrate on two other REAL issues.

    1) Just SEEING the original Birth Certificate for verification. I’ll accept it is completely legit, so just show it to us and be done with all this silliness Mr. Obama, just show it. You just spent a WEEK in Hawaii, why not take an hour, go by the Dept.of Records and get a copy made and slap it on the internet.

    2) The real concern of meeting the legal qualifications of the Constitution. Does he or Does he Not Meet it?


    With that said, I’d bet half my paycheck (I’d bet more but with the new spread the wealth plan soon to be intact I need to keep some for myself), that NEITHER #1 or #2 listed above are done or decided on, but that so many palms are greased that he slides right into office just as planned.

  4. Kevin says:

    A plausible assertion was made on December 29 that Ron Polarik’s secret identity has been discovered. There are some points to be tied down, but I think this may be it. If the identification turns out to be true, then just as TechDude stole someone else’s credentials, Polarik made then up out of whole cloth, having neither a MS or a PhD, but who is actually a fairly notorious anti-Obama smear-monger, who runs a web site with some of the worst disinformation out there. This should be over in a couple of days.

  5. Kevin says:

    Hey, I had Cort Wrotnowski on my other blog.

  6. TRUTH says:

    Gee, I feel more and more important with these celebrities you have visiting here Kevin. lol

  7. Kevin says:

    To Polarik,

    Wow, Ron Polarik himself on my little blog!

    Personally I read your “final report” (and commented on it here) before I ever knew of Krawetz’s articles. And I tell you Rod, that if you cut out the 90% BS that comprises the “final report”, then maybe somebody else might actually read it. Your article is more rant than analysis and it was painful to force myself to stay with it. You would never have gotten a PhD if you had submitted crap like that as a thesis.

    I have no problem with your remaining anonymous; I can fully appreciate reasons why people taking controversial positions on the Internet would not wanting it to affect “real life”. But get one thing straight: Rod Polarik has no PhD and no MS. Rod Polarik has nothing but a claim of qualifications with no evidence. When you make up a false identity, you lose your credentials.

    And I decided your “analysis” was bunk on my own. Thank you.

    I will offer one little debunk of his “Final Analysis”. Polarik said this:

    To validate my findings that the text in this COLB document image was the result of graphic alternations, and not a result of any printer or scanner artifacts, I made over 700 test scans and images using an actual paper COLB and different scanners that were subjected to different combinations of scanning and image parameters. I was finally able to replicate the Kos image so closely that other image experts thought it was the same Kos image, and not my “clone.”

    Then he goes on to compare one of his scanned images to the Obama Daily KOS image. Now can anyone with a straight face say they that these two images are replicated “so closely that other image experts thought it was the same Kos image”? It’s like a photo, one with flash and one with available light — they’re that different. And then with these totally different kinds of scans he starts picking at pixel differences in the images. Well DUH, he used a different scanner, a different lamp and different software and he got different results. Maybe he should have tried another 700 times.

    You don’t need an advanced degree to tell when you’re being snowed.

  8. Polarik says:

    I have concluded that the people who still cling to the myth that Obama’s original birth certificate, or even the Certification of Live Birth (COLB) on the Internet are so desperate to prove me wrong that they would rather listen to fools than to facts.

    Predictably, they are the ones spreading the vicious rumor that I’m a “fraud,” that I “don’t exist,” and that my final report is “bunk.”

    The truth is that the person who got this this rumor started never even read my final report, is totally clueless about my research, and hopelessly confused about the entire birth certificate controversy.

    The rumormonger, aka Neal Krawetz, has managed to use his lofty-sounding but irrelevant credentials, to fool people into thinking that his lies, slurs, baseless conclusions, and fabricated images actually refute my research when, in fact, they repudiate his credibility.

    Krawetz is living proof that paper credentials do not convey credibility or competence. If Krawetz tells you that he’s read my final report, then he’s lying through his teeth as he did throughout his “Bad Science” screed.

    All one has to do is to read my final report and then read his “Bad Science” screed, to know that he didn’t.

    I received my Masters before Krawetz was ever born, and my Doctorate while he was still in grade school. My research speaks for itself, and I have legitimate reasons (regarding my job) for not revealing my credentials.

    So, if someone does not read my final report, then he does not have the right to knock it as Krawetz has done. My final report, the one that Krawetz never read, can be seen here: http://polarik.blogtownhall.com. It is 160 printed pages and contains 140 COLB-related images, or about 138 more than Krawetz used. Whether Krawetz likes it or not, it puts to rest the ridiculous notion that a genuine copy of Obama’s paper Certification of Live Birth was ever posted online.

    My point-by-point debunking of Krawetz’s bogus review of my report and his slanderous attacks can be seen on my alternate blog, http://bogusbirthcertificate.blogspot.com. You don’t need to have any credentials to read and understand the report.

  9. Kevin says:

    Whether you fell for the grandmother tape or not, Philip J. Berg lied to you, the federal courts and all of us about all those things.

    I get really angry when people lie to me, and I stop carrying their signs around.

  10. TRUTH says:

    Your going way off track. I don’t support the granny thing, you know that, I’ve said it more than once. I don’t care about Indonesia, him traveling to Pakistan, or radio interviews with the Ambassador. I’m asking one thing, one very RIGOROUS Thing, Show Me the Birth Certificate(defined in another post)

  11. Kevin says:

    Every time I dig into this Obama Citizenship Denial thing, I find at the heart of it a lie.

    For example, TechDude copied the resume of a real person, and claimed it for himself. He waved around technospeak like he was this grand expert, but what he did was as factual as a magic act. He pointed at non-existent stuff and said “see!” when all he did was to look at noise and compare certificates from different software versions.

    Polarik actually doctored the Obama images on his web site to introduce problems, while at the same time exhibiting serious ignorance of issues like noise in scanned images.

    While TechDude and Polarik never disclosed their real names, the guy who tore them apart, Dr. Neal Krawetz, gave his real name and where he got his real degrees.

    People argue that Obama must have had an Indonesian passport when he traveled to Pakistan because Pakistan was on a no-travel list, but in fact a contemporary newspaper report said you could get a 30-day visa to visit Pakistan at the border.

    People say that Hawaiian laws say things they don’t say even while providing links to them.

    People say Obama’s grandmother says things she didn’t say, while linking to the audio tape and transcript.

    They say things and provide references and their only hope is that you don’t go read the references.

    When you’ve seen as many lies as I have, time after time, I don’t think the Obama Citizenship Denial crowd deserves anybody’s attention any more. They make stuff up, they present false facts, they lie about what their references say and their logic is really fallacy.

  12. Kevin says:


    The following two links explain why TechDude and Polarik’s analysis is bunk. The second link deals with Polarik in particular.

  13. TRUTH says:

    And here is a very long and extensive one detailing all the errors in the COLB that is shown of Mr. Obama.
    A lot to read, I scanned through it.


    Here’s a funny thought Kevin. If I need to believe the people that are in place telling us things, should I believe them all, or just the ones that were Voted in? Believing an expert document examiner is one I should pass on? Because according to him, if you read a lot of that link, the COLB of Obamas online is a definate fraud.

    Ya see, that’s what bugs me. I don’t even want to believe Polarik, I just want the damn truth, which can only be done one way. But every time I mention that such a ‘SIMPLE’ task be done, it is as if I am asking he climbs Mt.Everest to PROVE himself Worthy! “Why He should NOT have to do that, He is ABOVE that, you have NO reason to doubt him and should Take his WOrd.”


    We’ll see.

  14. BM says:

    Here is an easier to understand blog about what Polarik is claiming.


  15. Kevin says:

    It looks like Hawaiian law would entitle Obama to a photocopy.

    §338-13 Certified copies. (a) Subject to the requirements of sections 338-16, 338-17, and 338-18, the department of health shall, upon request, furnish to any applicant a certified copy of any certificate, or the contents of any certificate, or any part thereof.

    (b) Copies of the contents of any certificate on file in the department, certified by the department shall be considered for all purposes the same as the original, subject to the requirements of sections 338-16, 338-17, and 338-18.

    (c) Copies may be made by photography, dry copy reproduction, typing, computer printout or other process approved by the director of health. [L 1949, c 327, §17; RL 1955, §57-16; am L Sp 1959 2d, c 1, §19; HRS §338-13; am L 1978, c 49, §1]


  16. Kevin says:

    John McCain refused to release his college transcripts AND his birth certificate, but he did release VOLUMES of medical records. Obama released a Birth Certificate , no college transcripts, and a summary medical record. Since place of birth is a legal requirement to be president, I think asking for proof of place of birth (and this only) is not out of bounds; however, Congress is the body that has the right to ask for the proof because it is their responsibility to certify the election. I believe that the birth certificate Obama has already shown is sufficient proof of place of birth.

    No one has ever shown me that Obama has access to that photocopy of the original record of birth from Hawaii to provide, even if he wanted to.

    [Updated: I believe I have found through my own research a Hawaiian law entitling Obama to that photocopy now.]

  17. TRUTH says:

    Very Well Said. At least you don’t say this is no possibility of something being wrong.

    A point, for what its worth, I might make is this all didn’t start last week, or last month. He has been asked to show the actual document for some time now. As well as some other important papers he has yet to show. College application papers and transcripts, medical records to name a couple. I can’t speak about those however, I know very little about them to be honest.

  18. Kevin says:

    There are possible scenarios, and then there are plausible scenarios. I can’t think of a plausible scenario.

    To be anything of Constitutional impact, Obama would have to be born outside the United States. For Obama to have been born outside the United States and his COLB say he was born in Honolulu, one of the following must have been the case:

    1. Obama’s mother fraudulently claimed he was born at home in Hawaii
    2. The Hawaiian COLB is a fake or has been altered.

    In case 1, Obama’s mother would have had to have given birth, returned to Hawaii, and registered the birth all within a 4 day window (the birth was registered on the 8th and Obama was born on the 4th). This seems highly implausible for an 18-year-old student who just had a baby in a foreign country to accomplish. Why would she have even known that such a registration procedure existed or the implications of Obama being born in Kenya would have 47 years later?

    In case 2, Obama would have to be an essentially dishonest person, to have contracted for a fake certificate and be willing to risk the almost inevitable exposure of the fraud. That seems highly implausible too.

    I firmly believe that the FactCheck photos are of a real document that looks like the photos. Whether the real document is a fake or not, I am not qualified to say. If it is a fake, somebody went to a lot of trouble to make it. If it were a fake, I believe Hawaiian officials would have said something by now.

  19. TRUTH says:

    I respect your knowledge on Birth Certificates. You obviously know what your talking about and make it hard to question. HOWEVER, being devils advocate, is what you say “Absolute”? There is no possibility of anything else having happened? What is shown on factcheck.org, is unequivocally accurate evidence of Mr Barrack Obamas birth in Hawaii, and there is no other possible scenario?

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