Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Polland Is Polarik

My identification of pseudo-expert 'Ron Polarik' as statistician/self-proclaimed dating expert Ron Polland has drawn plenty of attention, but also questions about how I can so conclusively state that they are the same person. After all, my post largely consisted of my declaration that they were one and the same, with their similar names and resumes presented as the only real connection between the two. I initially held back additional evidence in anticipation of Polarik's reaction to my announcement, and now that he has reacted, I offer my proof that they are one and the same.

The initial finding that caused me to draw a connection between 'Polarik' and Ron Polland was this: On June 18, 2008, Polarik made a post on the forums. Two months earlier, on April 4, 2008, a poster with the handle of "DrRJP" posted at

Both posts were strongly anti-Obama, while expressing only reluctant support for McCain. Both made Obama's position on Israel a high priority. Both spoke of Obama participating in fundraisers for Islamic causes. Both criticized Obama for his gradual distancing of himself from Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Both criticized Obama for calling his grandmother a "typical white woman."

And then there was this:

Posted by Polarik:
This fool is totally convinced that his silver tongued rhetoric can sway terrorists as easily as he swayed Democrats and media pundits. It is the height of hubris and chutzpah to think that the most pernicious and persistent enemy to human freedom can be won over with dialogue.

The "Change" that Obama preaches will be one from democracy to demagogery. Heck, this election is not a choice between the "lesser of two evils, "but the choice between someone who will resist evil and someone who will capitulate to it.

Posted by Polland:
Obama is totally convinced that his silver tongued rhetoric can sway terrorists as easily as he sway voters. It is the height of hubris and chutzpah to think that the most pernicious and persistent enemy to human freedom can be won over with dialogue.

The "Change" that Obama preaches will be one from democracy to demagogery. This election is not a choice between the lesser of two evils, but the choice between someone who will resist evil and someone who will capitulate to it.

At the absolute minimum, 'Polarik' is blatantly plagiarizing Polland. The word "demagogery" is even misspelled the same way both times.

Note, however, that this post of Polarik's came only five days after his first appearance on 'Polarik' did not start calling himself 'Ron' until August. He did not claim a doctorate until September. And he did not claim degrees in "Instructional Systems" and "Educational Research," the specific degrees possessed by Polland, until December.

So 'Polarik' did not start trotting out personal details that mirrored Polland's until, at the earliest, two months after his post at Polarik cannot claim ignorance of Polland; he was already copying his writing in June 2008. So either he stole his identity, and chose to do so by copying his writing months before he borrowed additional personal info, or they are, and always were, the same person.

So that was the starting point. It was this that allowed me to identify Polland's pre-Polarik online handles, DrRJP and DocRJP.

So what else connects the two?

First, Polarik posted comments on several websites that were able to confirm his IP address. Polland lives in the same metropolitan area associated with this IP address.

Second, both Polland and Polarik have very strong and very similar opinions on Israel. Israel is easily the second most common subject of Polarik posts at FreeRepublic, behind Obama's eligility. Polland has submitted multiple letters to the editor of the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union on the subject of Israel. One letter of Polland's was so inflammatory that the paper actually apologized for running it:
Misinformation, acrimony and a personal attack that could inspire fear for one's safety, marked a recent exchange of letters to the editor. It was typical fodder for the Internet, but a disappointing lapse in the Times-Union's editing process...

There followed a response letter, which Zogby claims was inaccurate, a personal attack on him and perhaps even dangerous in that it could incite those prone to hate crimes to seek him out.

Written by Ron Polland, the letter criticized Zogby for ignoring the fact that terrorists have used American passports to infiltrate Israel. He accused Zogby of "writing denigrating and inflammatory comments about Israel," and much more.

"Shame on him," Zogby said of Polland, a researcher at the University of North Florida who has written several letters critical of Muslims and Palestinians.

"This is the kind of bizarre ranting that occurs on a blog," Zogby said, asking for an apology.

"When it is in print, it has more merit and it should be viewed differently," he said. "I know you have standards. Someone didn't review it carefully."

Mike Clark, editorial page editor, said he regretted the failure to more carefully screen the letter.

In fact, what Polland described as the Palestine Human Rights Commission was actually known as the Palestine Human Rights Campaign...

Polland insisted on the veracity of the things he wrote. Asked to provide references for his assertions, Polland sent links to seven partisan Web sites, including one for the columnist Michelle Malkin. Those sites can be found by entering Zogby's name on a search engine.

"The blogosphere is the source of truth where people can really find out what is going on," Polland said.

Echoes of Polarik's online style abound, don't they?

Third, Polland is 61. Polarik has described his age as "I got my Masters degree before Krawetz was born, and my Doctorate while he was still in grade school," which puts him in his 60s.

Fourth, Polland has degrees in Educational Research and Instructional Systems. Polarik has claimed identical degrees in Educational Research and Instructional Systems. Additionally, Polland is a statistician with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and Polarik has claimed (apparently false) graduate degrees in Statistics and Psychology.

Fifth, Polland's first name is Ronald. Polarik has said that his real first name is Ronald.

Sixth, both Polland and Polarik have identified themselves as being Jewish.

Seventh, both Polland and Polarik have been occasional commenters at These two posts, for instance, involve both Polland and Polarik discussing how the Muslim concept of 'taqiyya' can allow Obama to be a secret Muslim through public deception.

Eighth, both Polland and Polarik are fans of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." Coincidence, ridiculously overzealous impersonation, or same person? Take your pick.

Ninth, both Polland and Polarik are advocates and defenders of Bulgaria. See #8.

Tenth, and finally, you can actually listen to and compare audio of Polarik and audio of Polland, and watch video of Polarik and video of Polland:

In the 48 hours since my post went online naming Polarik, he has not had much to say on the subject. His only post on the subject had this to say: "Are they saying that I swiped his identity, now? I’ve heard this before. The trolls have been saying for a year now that I have a phony PhD, but this guy’s got a real one." Not a firm, outright denial, but he does refer to Polland as "this guy."

However, that was Polarik's public response. He was not so careful with his words elsewhere. After my post went online, a link to it was sent to Polarik by Steve "koyaan" Eddy, and Polarik responded:

Polarik's response: "Nice try, but that's not who I am."

If true, then Polarik has, for the past year, conducted the most unnecessarily elaborate impersonation of another person that I imagine any of us have ever witnessed. "It was coincidence" is simply not an option, especially after the common writing. And if Polarik is confessing to having effectively impersonated another man for the past year, he's confessing to a most elaborate lie.

Unfortunately, it's not that elaborate. The truth is that when Polarik wrote back "That's not who I am," he was unambiguously, flat-out lying. Ron Polarik is Ron Polland, despite his claim to the contrary. And Ron Polland is Ron Polarik. Once again Polarik has demonstrated his willingness to lie in the face of blatant fact. In only five words Polarik has successfully managed to demonstrate his capacity for dishonesty in even the most straightforward of situations.

Consequently, his 'research' must be viewed through the lens of the fact that it was conducted by a non-expert in computer matters who has a strong history of lying and misrepresenting facts, even about himself. This is precisely the reason why 'TechDude' was summarily dismissed ans non-credible and untrustworthy as soon as he was exposed last year. And it's precisely the reason why 'Polarik' should receive exactly the same treatment now.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Meet Ronald Jay Polland

Allow me to introduce you to someone you may already know:

This is Dr. Ronald Jay Polland. He received a BA in Psychology from Florida State University in 1970, a Masters in Educational Research from FSU in 1972, and a Doctorate in Instructional Systems from FSU in 1978. His curriculum vitae lists the other accomplishments he finds noteworthy. He holds himself out as an expert on surveys and market research.

As of a few years ago, he worked in the Office of Institutional Research at the University of North Florida, where he helped conduct surveys and generate statistical reports. For instance, he wrote this Satisfaction Survey of A & P Employees. Polland is not currently listed as being on staff with that office, and it is unclear what his current occupation is.

However, surveys and statistical reports are not the only aspect of his life. He is the "President and Founder of Dr. RJP Consulting, an international consulting firm," begun in 1989. Polland's previous corporation, Innovative Systems, Inc., was involuntarily dissolved by the state of Florida in 1988.

Polland also has deemed himself an expert on dating. As he writes on his MySpace page, he is an "Expert advisor on relationships, romance and .. dating," and describes himself as "a psychologist by training who has devoted part of his life to helping others with questions and issues related to .. relationships, romance and dating."

He writes the following about how he came to find and recognize this expertise:
"His interest and research into Internet dating began in 1995, the year following the end of his 23-year marriage. His search for a woman to date also brought him into contact with many others who had previously used the Internet to find romance. From his own experience and the experience of others, he noted that both men and women often misrepresented themselves on the Internet. He found that people often lied about their age, looks, background, and occupations to others they met online."

With its talk of online misrepresentation, I imagine this passage is more autobiographically ironic than it was perhaps intended to be. Because if you have not realized it yet:

Ron Polland is Ron Polarik.

As you can see, Polland/Polarik does have the educational degrees he named in his anonymous declaration. He does not hold the other degrees he has claimed: a Masters in Statistics, a Masters in Experimental Psychology, and a Doctorate in Experimental Psychology. Additionally, the proper title for his doctorate is Instructional Systems, not Instructional Media.

It is, perhaps, ironic that the one and only time Polarik accurately named and represented his degrees was in a document that he refused to sign either his real name OR his online pseudonym to.

Also, despite specific (yet contradicted) claims that he was writing under his real last name, or that "I never said that Polarik was a pseudonym," it can now be firmly acknowledged that 'Polarik' is not his real name. Which is, of course, in agreement with the other occasions when he did say that 'Polarik' was a pseudonym.

Given Polarik's history, I fully expect him to respond to this revelation by trying to direct attention to the discrete details he's given that weren't lies. The degrees that he does have, as opposed to the ones he made up, or the false insinuations of technical expertise that he tried to draw from his educational resume. If he addresses his naming at all, I expect him to attempt to convince people that a mere history of misrepresentation shouldn't make him untrustworthy. That people shouldn't doubt his expertise in computers and scanners simply because he's not actually an expert in those things.

Because as is readily evident from his C.V., his education, and his work history, Polland/Polarik has no discernible expertise in computer forensics, digital imagery, or document examination.

I feel I should repeat that with emphasis: Ron Polland/Ron Polarik has no discernible expertise in computer forensics, digital imagery, or document examination.

His trade is in statistics and surveys. He has no degrees relating to computers or technology. He is not a computer expert; he has used computers. He is not a scanner expert; he has used scanners. At best, he is an amateur photography buff. He may have a doctorate, true, but it is in a field wholly unrelated to computer technology. Just see Florida State University's program profile. Even had he signed his real name to his 'XXXXXXXXX' declaration, he still would not have qualified as an expert in the field in which he was attempting to provide expert testimony. Polland would never survive a Daubert challenge, and any lawyer would be foolish to attempt to pass him off as an expert on these matters.

Thus, when Polarik was identified by Phil Berg as one of "three (3) Document Forensic Experts", this was a gross misrepresentation. A gross misrepresentation that Polland must not have minded, as he had his reports posted on Berg's website, without any comment or correction.

Contrast this lack of technological expertise with the credentials of one of his leading critics, Dr. Neal Krawetz. Krawetz holds a Bachelor's in Computer and Information Science, and a doctorate in Computer Science. His specialities are in computer security, software development, and computer forensics. Krawetz has given presentations on how digital images can be manipulated.

And what was Polland's response to this critic who has immensely more education and expertise with computers and digital forensics than himself? "[Krawetz is] a charlatan who falsely used his credentials to fool others into thinking that he is more than qualified to critique my research;" "He doesn't know what scanners can or cannot do;" and "I can say, flat-out, that Krawetz does not have anything close to the research skills I have."

Admittedly, Polland is correct on that last point; Krawetz does not have skills that are comparable to Polland's. Krawetz's relevant skills are far, far superior to Polland's. I refer any and all interested readers to Krawetz's criticism of Polarik's 'research'.

If all of this sounds comparable to the TechDude incident from last year, that's because it is. TechDude passed himself off as an expert in a field where he had no such expertise, declared that he'd made a bunch of stunning discoveries, a lot of people bought into his armchair 'forensic research,' and he was eventually exposed as a phony. They both even doctored their evidence. The reason why Polarik defended TechDude right up until the day he was exposed as a fraud was that Polland simply lacked the expertise to recognize TechDude's errors. Errors that Neal Krawetz, incidentally, did not miss.

The key difference between Polarik and TechDude is that TechDude only managed to pull off his charade for a month. Whereas Polland has managed to stretch his out for over a year.

Don't let him continue it any longer.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Obama's Pearl Harbor that Wasn't

I fear I've been a little one-note in my Birther criticism lately, so let me take the opportunity to take a look back at another headliner of the Obama birth certificate crowd, Larry Johnson.

Slightly under a year ago, on August 9, 2008, Johnson wrote a post entitled "Obama's Impending Pearl Harbor". In it, he writes:
But then there is the Indonesian problem and his Hawaiian birth certificate.

I confirmed today that several teams/individuals visited Jakarta during the last six months to gather up critical documents regarding Barack. It is amazing what money can buy. The information includes details of how Barack made his way to Pakistan. Oh! Did I mention there have been similar efforts underway in Pakistan. There are several lessons and warnings in the John Edwards affair for Obama. First and foremost, you cannot hide your past.

Did I also mention how small Hawaii is? Republican operatives, with help from their own island backers, have unearthed critical information on Obama and are just biding their time until after the convention to drop it on him. Such as? Having a birth certificate that lists you as Barry Soetoro...

Meet the Obamas. You don’t know them? Don’t worry, Republican operatives are loaded for bear and you are going to meet a Barack Obama that was hidden and disguised during the Democratic primary. And when the introduction is over the Obama supporters will wish the only thing they had to worry about was a video with Michelle saying disparaging things about caucasians.

Dems. You’ve been warned. Don’t be surprised when the attacks come.

Notice that Johnson goes so far as to say he has "confirmed" at least some of this information. So, looking back a year later, how accurate were Johnson's predictions?

Destructive revelations and critical documents about Obama's trip to Pakistan that were unearthed by teams sent to Jakarta? Nope, never materialized. Johnson is 0-for-1.

Critical information on Obama's life in Hawaii found by Republican operatives? Nope, never materialized. 0-for-2.

A birth certificate giving Obama's name as 'Barry Soetoro'? Nope, never materialized. 0-for-3.

Ooooh, strikeout. Plus, I don't recall any surprise revelations in the last three months of the campaign that would've put the infamous "whitey" tape to shame. I hope Larry's found some more reliable sources.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Polarik's Faked Forgery

I made it clear previously that I have no intention of meticulously debunking hundreds of pages of argument that "proves" Obama's birth certificate was forged out of two or more real Hawaiian COLBs, one of which may or may not have been Patricia DeCosta's, any more than I ever felt like debunking the books' worth of material from 9/11 Truthers who claimed that the photographic evidence "proved" the Pentagon was hit by a missile and not a plane. I'm especially not going to do it when the person presenting the argument hasn't produced any real forensic credentials, and yet who would fall back on those non-existant forensic credentials as to why my rebuttal shouldn't be trusted anyway.

After all, I have no forensic credentials. I'm an attorney. Granted, I have years of experience with computers, printers, and scanners, and I've read a lot of web pages and even built a few, and while that may be enough for Polarik to claim he's an expert, I have no such pretensions. I'm honest about that upfront.

However, since my central thesis is that Polarik is NOT honest, I'm most interested in demonstrating an occasion when his 'research' was not honest. Particularly one in contrast to an explicit claim of honesty. For instance:

Amazingly, all three of those sentences are lies.

Polarik's "clone" was presented in this post of July 23, 2008, just a smidgen over a year ago. In it, Polarik claimed that this image...

...was "actually the clone I created more from Michele's 2008 COLB image." He would subsequently describe the creation by saying that "I chose the highest quality image available to me, which was Michele's COLB, and made a bitmap of it. I then edited it, and saved it at a JPG comression of 45 percent."

He went on:
Keep in mind that this is not a point-for-point clone of the Kos image, since I did not proceed from an original, scanned image (a bitmap that has never been seen by the public), but it's darn close, and nobody was the wiser.

How do you tell my clone from Kos?

The "Time of Birth" on my clone is 7:25 AM; on the Kos it's 7:24 PM.

I replaced everything, EXCEPT the funky border. Like I said, the "security" border is not very secure when it can be reproduced by a scanner.

Making an exact "forgery" in terms of the Kos image dimensions, file size, JPG compression and resolution was not an easy job, although I spent less about an hour to make it.

I admit there is one kernel of truth in this: he's right about the times.

To begin with, I'm outright baffled by his claim that his "forgery" is exact in terms of image dimensions and file size. The Kos image is 2427 × 2369 pixels. His "clone" is 640 × 625 pixels. It's slightly under 7% of the size of the Kos COLB.

As for the claims that he created the above image from the "Michele COLB," and that this is "not a point-for-point clone of the Kos image, "I have created some simple illustrations. And I'm going to disclose upfront how I created them. They were all made with GIMP 2.6.6. All the underlying images were taken downloaded directly from the image locations provided on (e.g., the Kos image came from Kos). The underlying images were not manipulated in any way other than resizing, cropping only when noted, and resaving as animated gifs. There was no sharpening, blurring, recoloring, level-adjustment...nothing.

First, I trimmed the excess around the outside of the Michele COLB, to make the borders line up, and resized it to 640x625. I overlaid it with Polarik's "clone" image, allegedly built from it, and got this:


Very noticeably different. Different background, different word placement, different border, missing seal, etc. Polarik apparently did a *lot* of work to turn one into the other, and he did it in under an hour, no less.

So let's look at an animation of the "clone" and the Kos image. For this, I only had to resize the Kos image; the ratio of 2427 × 2369 pixels precisely equals the ratio of 640 × 625 pixels. Funny how that works.

Anyhow, here's *that* animation:


Now aside from some difference in clarity, you may not notice at first that *anything* is different. Even the rattan pattern in the background doesn't shift. Compare that to how well Polarik managed to imitate the background in his other attempt at mimickry:


Admittedly, he claimed this was the work of only two minutes, but that was a self-imposed deadline. In attempting a little digital trickery, this is what he produced, and it's the one point of comparison we have for his Photoshopping skills. It's not a very convincing fake, and it was admittedly made directly from the Obama image.

Meanwhile his "clone" was allegedly made from a completely different image, and yet it's ridiculously close. The rattan background is exactly placed. The border is indistinguishable. Every letter of text is exactly the right size and in exactly the right place (except for five).

However, two significant things are different. One, the reverse date stamp that is evident on the Kos is *almost* missing on the "clone." Almost, but not quite. As you can tell, it's mostly missing, but some remnants of it remain around the bottom of the '7,' '6,' and 'N,' in exactly the right places. It's curious that in making his "clone," Polarik would fake the bottom of those three figures, and be careful enough to place them exactly, but not bother with the whole date stamp.

Second, the time has been changed. Not merely the exchange of a '4' and 'P' for a '5' and 'A,' but the entire time has noticeably moved upwards. And it's conspicuously moved upwards in a way that is mirrored by no other text on the certificate. Here it is cropped and scaled up (notice too how the backgrounds match up):


So when Polarik claimed he never fabricated evidence, he lied. He fabricated his evidence of this "clone." When Polarik claimed the only thing he made was this "clone," he lied. He never made a clone. He took the original Obama image, made a sloppy and incomplete attempt to cover up the date stamp, replaced the time (in not-quite-the-right-place), shrunk the image down to 7% the size of the Kos, and resaved it. And then he falsely claimed that he had mocked it up from the Michele COLB.

Then again, I could be wrong. He might have replaced the time and THEN sloppily attempted to cover up the date stamp.

At the time a year ago, Polarik promised to publish within days "a step by step guide showing exactly how I produced this clone, as well as posting a sampling of all of the dead ends I reached using the explanations professed by the nonbelievers." Not surprisingly, this "step by step guide" never materialized.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Polarik Recap

OK, so with all I've had to say on the subject of Ron Polarik, what do I think it all adds up to?

Simple: I don't believe he can be trusted. His willingness to outright lie is on full display in his accounting of the TechDude saga; in an attempt to redeem his own reliability after having defended TechDude, he fell back on the claim that he'd simply been lying to everyone for a month.

It's a similar problem with the name. It doesn't matter whether "Polarik" is a screen name or a real name. Lots of people post online under screen names, and I'm sure one of the explanations for is probably true. No, it's the fact that Polarik can't maintain a consistent story as to which it is. Here's a minor detail that really doesn't matter, but he's clearly giving different explanations at different times.

And what about the credentials? Over the last year, it's the credentials that have gotten the most attention. To be perfectly honest though, I don't think they're ALL bogus. In fact, I'd be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the credentials he gave in his anonymous, XXXXXXXXX declaration. Polarik's a liar, but I don't think he's dumb. And it would be very, very dumb to lie about your credentials in an expert legal filing, even anonymously. It's hard to plead mistake or ignorance on that, the way he could claim mistake with his work product.

Besides, if he's going to completely make up credentials to validate his "expert" opinion, he made up the wrong credentials. The claimed degrees aren't any more relevant to document analysis than my J.D., and the claimed experience is frankly rather generic. He's worked with computers, scanners, and printers. Well, so have I. Doesn't make me much of an expert in them though, any more than my frequent use of a microwave makes me an expert in radiology.

I can even conceive of a reason why he wouldn't have mentioned any legitimate credentials earlier. Legitimate credentials are real information, and Polarik has always been very, very careful not to give any personal information about himself. Enough personal information could allow someone to figure out who he really is. Although he's claimed a lot of degrees, he hasn't actually named them often. But I'm skeptical of there being two other Masters and another Doctorate, especially when they DON'T appear in the declaration, so I still find his overall resume untrustworthy.

Frankly, I don't think it costs much to concede he may actually have a single Ph.D., particularly when it's not in the field he's trying to claim expertise. After all, so does Alan Keyes. Orly Taitz has a J.D., and so does Phil Berg. Suffixes may be a sign of simple intelligence (except in Orly's case), but they're not a guarantee of credibility.

So we know that Polarik is willing to lie on a fairly wide range of matters, even on petty matters. We know that he doesn't actually claim any specific expert credentials with regard to digital imagery, image analysis, or forensic studies (even as he chides his critics for not having the technical expertise that he lacks himself). And we know he's adamant about not having his real identity discovered.

We know that he would appear to be partial to a wide array of conspiracy theories, particularly surrounding Obama. In a handful of FreeRepublic posts, he's expressed some anti-vaccine beliefs. He's even suggested that illegal immigrants carry bubonic plague and smallpox, despite the latter having been eradicated 30 years ago.

In the end, the question with Polarik's "evidence," as with any evidence, is whether the source is credible. And Polarik isn't.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Polarik Miscellania

In the course of drudging through old posts, I've come across a few more noteworthy comments from the good "Doctor." I'll be editing my previous posts to add them in, but I wanted to draw some attention to them here first:

Polarik, on his experience:
July 25, 2008 - "I have almost 40 years of computer experience and 20 years of computer graphics experience. That trumps his experience.I was a professor of Research for 15 years,"

I'll cut the guy a break for claiming he's a "professor of research" without specifying any field of research. Still, I'm not aware of any other occasions when "Polarik" claimed professorial experience. For what it's worth, it wasn't until over a month later that he gave himself his first higher education degree. Also note that by this point in late July he had already upped his computer experience to "40 years" from his initial claim of 20 years just five weeks earlier.

You can also add to Polarik's list of skills the capacity to do voice comparison analysis, which he claimed in his posts in the FreeRepublic thread "Is Obama the secret son of Malcolm X?"

Polarik, on TechDude:
July 15, 2008 - "FYI: TechDude and I are collaborating on a full report, along with TD."

& - "TechDude's got the technical details nailed down."

Nothing terribly different here, but these rather strong pro-TechDude posts are from five days earlier than the earliest pro-TechDude comments I previously shared. "Polarik" was firmly in TechDude's camp for a full month before he retconned himself into having always known the guy was a fraud.

There's a hint of '1984'-style history there: "Polarik has always been at war with TechDude."

Polarik, on what he thinks Obama's hiding:
July 24, 2008 - "Here's another thought. I've seen many people spelling Obama as "Obamah." If that is a legitimate variant of his name, the number of letters in each of his three names would be 666!"

July 24, 2008 - "There is more than a distinct possibility that Obama Sr. is an Arab and not an African...How much support would he have if he were Arab-American? Now, that wouyld be a good reason to post a forgery."

August 12, 2008 - "Yes, it is in Obama's case b/c his current COLB bears the name of "Barry Soetoro."

Sep. 17, 2008 - "I swear I think the guy's an operative for Al-Qaeda."

April 14, 2009 - (Do you think Stanley Ann Dunham is not his mother then?) "Stanley, Yes. Obama Sr, No."

June 28, 2009 - "[Obama's Hawaiian grandmother] was cremated like his mother, and scattered, like his mother, and both may be living just fine some place out of sight."

I like putting lots of conspiracy theories back-to-back. I think it helps to see the full picture of someone like Polarik, who apparently believes that Barack Obama is the faux-black/Arab, Indonesian-adopted-and-renamed, al-Qaeda sleeper agent, illegitimate son of Malcolm X, whose mother and grandmother faked their deaths, and who could bear a sign of the antichrist (if only you added extra letters to his name).

Polarik, on moving:
August 12, 2008 - "Fortunately, no, because I've moved twice in the past two months, and I'm going to have my number disconnected, and use my cell in the meantime."

I just thought this was interesting. Especially when taken in connection with his later comments about struggling to make rent.

Polarik, on his name:
August 12, 2008 9:08:08 AM - "Which is why I use my last name and why I'm still here. When you have irrefutable evidence, you let it speak for itself."

So "Polarik" is his own personal real last name. Noted.

And if you're wondering why I included the time of that disclosure, it's because when "Polarik" posted at August 12, 2008 12:57:44 AM in the same thread (a post I previously shared), he claimed his screen name was a pseudonym.

Yes, "Polarik" actually changed his story about his screen name in the 8 hours and 10 minutes between these two posts. When he went to bed in the early hours of August 12, "Polarik" was a pseudonym. When he woke up, "Polarik" was his real last name. He also went to bed defending TechDude, but didn't have much to say the next day. What could have happened on August 12 to cause these 180 degree turnarounds?


On Rebutting Polarik's "Research"

I'm sure it's escaped no one's attention that while I've been dissecting the "Doctor" for a little while now, I haven't had much to say about his "research." I've had a reason for this.

First and foremost, it's a chump's game. Polarik may claim that "Frauds do not produce 160-page reports with 140 images," but he's dead wrong. Conspiracy advocates regularly produce reams of paperwork and tomes of supposed documentation to back up their claims. To cite an extreme example, you may have heard that James von Brunn, the Holocaust museum shooter (and part-time Birther) had written an entire book that was supposed to document the Jewish conspiracy. 9/11 Truthers have also created websites, written tons of papers, and conducted whole conferences in support of their pet conspiracy theory. The mere fact that effort was expended and cherry-picked "evidence" was presented is not, in itself, a sign of legitimate research.

Now Polarik likes to brag that nobody's gone through and defeated all of his arguments. That's essentially true. And it's true for the same reason that nobody has gone through and dissected every Truther argument or every claim in von Brunn's book; it's a waste of time. Normal people already don't need a rebuttal because they already dismiss the conspiracy, and people who already subscribe to the conspiracy will simply reject any rebuttal as biased or faked or incomplete. Limited rebuttals are common (like the Popular Mechanics rejoinder of 9/11 myths), but full-length counter-arguments require a level of obsessiveness that's more likely to be found among the conspiracy advocates than the opponents.

One particular reason why thorough rebuttals are a waste of time is that conspiracy theories tend to adapt themselves around strong counter-arguments. For instance, last week, after seeing photos of a letter the White House sent to Obama's birth hospital, Polarik wrote of a White House letter: "This letter is a f**king joke! totally bogus!!...Ya gotta be kidding me! Who did this? A third grader?" He followed this up with a lengthy list of supposed signs of phoniness, alleged features that distinguished this letter from real White House letters. I rebutted him on all these aspects, and while rationalizing away his earlier position, he revised his stance to "I don't have to get everything right. All I need is for one thing to be right." He went from claiming it was a horrible and obvious fake to claiming it was a shrewd fake, but remains unswayed as to his belief that it's fake. Imagine that approach translated to a 160-page document.

And let me say a little more about that document. Here's what else Polarik's had to say about his "Final Report":
"Anyone who reads this report thoroughly will know that it was written by a genuine researcher using sound, scientific methods to explore these forgeries in depth. Frauds do not produce 160-page reports with 140 images that fully document the steps taken, that clearly explain the phenomena under investigation, and more importantly, provide sufficient information to allow other researchers to validate the findings."

Based on this description, you'd think he'd written a professional-looking paper. But it's not. He starts off with a 6-page "Forward" that's terribly overlong and padded with unnecessary information. When he finally reaches a section he entitles his "Executive Summary" around page 7, he never quite sets out a clear thesis for the "research" that follows. Then the ~160 pages of "research" aren't organized into any discernable format; there's the occasional subheading, but for the most part it's just a hundred pages of rambling argument, with one point bleeding into the next. There's no table of contents, no itemized listing of discrete arguments, no clear organizational scheme at all. And when he reaches the end, there's no clear conclusion or final summary. It just kind of...stops.

In short, it sure doesn't read like a true "research" paper. It's overly long, overly padded, and utterly disorganized. It's nigh-impossible to rebut his arguments because without reading the entire darn thing, I can't even discern what his specific arguments are. It's like reading a legal brief written by a non-lawyer who's representing himself pro se in court. It sure doesn't read like the "final report" of someone with two doctorates.

Also, despite Polarik's claims that he fully documents his work, I'm inclined to disagree. He avoids specifically identifying the hardware or software that he's working with, which would seem to be highly relevant in this context. And he often doesn't fully document the steps he's taken.

I happen to think this type of presentation reflects on Polarik's credility with regards to his alleged "expertise," but I'll leave it up to the reader to decide how to weight that for himself.

Still, despite all this, I feel like I should make some effort to take on Polarik's "research." Mainly because of the hypocritical and inconsistent response that Polarik and his defenders have towards critics.

On the one hand, should you attempt to discredit Polarik by attacking his credibility, through examples of his lying and history of making inconsistent statements, and by disputing his alleged "credentials," and you're making ad hominem attacks on Polarik by focusing on him instead of his written work.

On the other hand, if you choose to focus on discrediting Polarik's report and the arguments he makes, then he responds by claiming that you're not qualified to argue with someone who has his credentials. Even if you're someone like Neal Krawetz, who is a documented expert in digital image manipulation.

So argue credentials, and he falls back on the research. Argue the research, and he falls back on the credentials. It's a no-win situation.

But as long as I'm puncturing Polarik, I might as well try to find something in his "research" to poke a big hole in, just for the sake of thoroughness. This, unfortunately, has proven surprisingly difficult.

Not because Polarik's work is airtight. Hardly. The vast majority of Polarik's "research" is to single out some feature of Obama's birth certificate, and throw suspicion on it. It's not unlike the 9/11 Truthers who would point to photographs of the Pentagon crash that didn't obviously display plane wreckage and say "Look! Isn't that suspicious?" Their photos weren't manipulated, but their jump-to-conclusions reasoning was faulty. So if you wanted to rebut them, you had to counter their conclusions. And their conclusions, like Polarik's, violated the heck out of Occam's Razor.

The problem with Polarik is that even after reading a lot more of his "research" than I wish I had, I'm honestly still not sure exactly what his conclusions are. He'll appear to make a strong determination ("This letter is a total joke and looks like it was made by a kid"), and then will retreat back into a more ambiguous position when challenged ("Maybe it's not that unusual, but it could still be fake"), while pretending that he hasn't actually moved at all. His research will lead him to an absolute finding of fact, and then later he'll reach a different absolute finding of fact. It's impossible to pin down a conclusion to attack him on, because he's reached so many incompatible conclusions. If I shoot down one, he simply needs to fall back on another, or act like he never made the original one to begin with.

For instance, in one post he stated his conclusion (rather clearly) to be:
"I can prove that the KOS image, and all of its offspring, are originals that were altered. What I cannot prove is what, exactly, was changed in them to make them different from the paper document in the possession of someone authorized to receive it.">

Which is true enough (the black box over the Certificate number was obviously and admittedly added digitally), but this runs totally against every other claim he's made about alleged specific changes in the image. It's a claim so generic and pointless that it's not even worth rebutting. It's just "I can't say how the document might've been altered, but I can say Photoshop was involved somehow, and isn't that suspicious?"

I thought I'd finally stumbled across a good, firm rebuttable conclusion that Polarik shared on August 12: "the forgery is a drop-dead clone of DeCosta's COLB." And on August 10: To put it another way, the Kos COLB is a CLONE of the PD COLB. It is such a dead-ringer for it..."

That's a pretty strong position to take. "Drop-dead clone" isn't very ambiguous. So let me compare the DeCosta COLB to the...oh wait, Polarik was less decisive in other posts.

Elsewhere he wrote: "Except for the bogus Kos border. I never said that the Kos cOLB copied everything from the PD COLB." Or "So, the presence of a seal, "hidden" or otherwise, that was not the same size and not in the same position as the DeCosta image turned out to be the conssequence of copying the background from a second COLB."

So it's a "drop-dead copy" except for the background. And the border. And the seal. And the date stamp. And the Obama-specific text. And at least some of the boilerplate text (PD's says "Date Accepted by State Registrar" where Obama's says "Date Filed by State Registrar").

Which leaves us with some of the words printed on the background, and the big black Hawaiian seal at the top. Is Polarik's argument, then, that Obama's people cut-and-pasted the boilerplate text from the PD Certification onto a second background? Or that they used the PD Certification merely as a guide for text-placement? Neither seems to justify "drop-dead clone."

One of Polarik's arguments in support of a PD forgery was that it was the only Hawaiian COLB available online, and thus the only one they had to work from. So where'd they get the second background? If it was a blank background, where'd the seal and date stamp come from? If it was a full COLB with text, why replace the boilerplate text at all? What use is the PD COLB then? Did they supposedly cover up the boilerplate text and then replace it with identical boilerplate text based on the DeCosta document?

See, I can rebut "The Obama COLB is a drop-dead clone of the PD COLB." I can't rebut whatever Polarik finally ended up arguing, because it seems to have eventually degenerated down to a similarity in word placement. Which, of course, isn't really unusual with government documents. Like with the 9/11 photos, it boils down to "Look at this! Isn't that suspicious?"

So is there anything in Polarik's "research" that's worth attacking? There is one thing. And given the length that this post has reached, it'll be getting its own post.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Freeware Expertise of "Dr. Ron Polarik"

In his expert declaration back in December, "Polarik" described his technological expertise thusly:
"I have worked with document image scanners since 1982 and with digital images and digital editing software since 1987. I have received professional training in the use of Adobe Photoshop and Image Ready software with a particular focus on creating web graphics."

While "Polarik" has been steadfastly silent on the specific origins of his alleged academic expertise, he has occasionally provided specific mention of the software and technologies that he uses in his "research."

First, on June 30, 2008:
"[P]rops to the GIMP development team ( for providing the software used to examine these images."

GIMP is a downloadable freeware program, a no-cost alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It's a little strange that an expert in digital software and web graphics wouldn't own Adobe Photoshop.

Then on August 15, 2008:
"One of the Kos COLB image clones that I created was done with Microsoft Paint -- a very basic image editor"

Microsoft Paint, of course, is a free program that is bundled with Windows.

And now on July 14, 2009:
"Since November of last year, I have conducted a number of sophisticated image analyses using new software that was not available to me last year. One is called, JPEGSnoop,"

"I also re-examined the photos with a software program called JMicrovision"

JPEGsnoop is a downloadable freeware program.

JMicrovision is, also, a downloadable freeware program.

Yes, for all his alleged work and professional training with digital editing software, "Polarik" only seems to use free software in his research. Make of that what you will.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Ron Polarik" Continues to Rewrite History

After being all but silent on the Townhall blog for the better part of a year, "Polarik" yesterday offered up a huge revelation:
It's Official! Hawaii never issued Obama's 2007 Certification of Live Birth

Last year, while working on my final report, Obama's Born Conspiracy, I called Hawaii's DOH and asked to speak directly to Dr. Alvin Onaka, the Hawaii State Registrar and Head of the Office of Health Status Monitoring (OSHM), of which Vital Records is a part. I posed as a writer doing geneology research, knowing that if I portrayed myself as yet another investigator seeking information on Obama's birth records, that I would be immediately shot down. Strictly speaking, I was collecting vital record information on Obama's heritage, after all...

Then, I slipped in the the following question. I asked him if Janice Okubo had confirmed that his office produced a 2007 Certification of Live Birth, date-stamped June 6, 2007, with Obama's birth information on it, and he quickly replied:

"Absolutely not. No one in our office confirmed it."

That promptly ended the conversation as Dr. Onaka was not going to respond to any more questions from me. Since then, Hawaii has not answered anymore questions about Obama's birth record from anyone.

First off, it's important to point out that "Polarik"s story doesn't match up with "Polarik"s headline. If we take the story at face value and as fully true, he still fails to claim that anyone in Hawaii admitted they didn't issue it. He claims Onaka denied that anyone had previously confirmed it, and he specifically bolds the portion that he apparently finds significant, but he does NOT claim that Onaka actually disputed issuing it.

So "Polarik" can't even write a headline without getting something wrong. But that's not what I want to focus on.

No, I want to draw attention to a parenthetical of "Polarik":
(BTW, I noted this conversation in an earlier comment, on

Clearly, an attempt by "Polarik" to head off the obvious question of "Why hasn't he ever mentioned this conversation from last fall before now?" So in anticipation, he cites the best evidence he has, a post he made...on June 16. Last month. Not exactly "last year," when he claims the conversation took place.

However, the fact that "Polarik" has suddenly claimed that this event happened nine months ago allows us yet another opportunity to demonstrate how malleable history is for Mr. "Polarik." First off, let's consider all the times that "Polarik" has actually shared this conversation:

June 16, 2009 - "Last October, I spoke directly with Hawaii's State Registrar and head of Vital Records, Dr. Alvin Onaka, about an image showing what is called a, "Certification of Live Birth," or COLB and he confirmed what my research proved: that Obama's COLB, dated June 6,2007, was never released to anyone by the State of Hawaii."

July 8, 2009 - "Last year, I spoke with the Hawaii State Registrar, himself, Dr. Alvin T. Onaka, who provided me with the following bit of information. When I asked him if Janice Okubo had confirmed that his office produced a 2007 COLB, date-stamped June 6, 2007, with Obama's birth information on it. He said, 'Absolutely not. No one in our office confirmed it.'"

July 14, 2009 - "Last year, while working on my final report, Obama's Born Conspiracy, I called Hawaii's DOH and asked to speak directly to Dr. Alvin Onaka, the Hawaii State Registrar and Head of the Office of Health Status Monitoring (OSHM), of which Vital Records is a part. I posed as a writer doing geneology research, knowing that if I portrayed myself as yet another investigator seeking information on Obama's birth records, that I would be immediately shot down..." He goes on to describe an extended conversation where Onaka allegedly answered several pedantic questions about Hawaiian vital records before allegedly answering the Obama question and THEN hanging up.

Notice that in just the last month, the story of the conversation has gotten longer and more dramatic.

More curiously, for a conversation that "Polarik" now considers to be so groundbreaking and revelatory, it's strange that he never mentioned it prior to June. Maybe it's just that the opportunity to talk about Mr. Onaka never presented itself.

If only that were true:

November 22, 2008 - "In fact, if the name matches one on file, all you will get back is about the same as what Directors Fukino and Onaka said about Obama -- that a birth record exists."


"[IMPORTANT NOTICE] On Oct 31, 2008, the Directors of Health (Fukino) and Vital Statistics (Onaka) in Hawaii confirmed that there is a "birth record" for Obama in this database."

*No mention of the alleged October conversation with Mr. Onaka.*

December 18, 2008 - "Quote: Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said today she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate. (True, but Lie#5 based on how [Krawetz] used it)"

*No mention of the alleged October conversation with Mr. Onaka.*

December 29, 2008 - "The following points come from my conversations with Vital Records staff and the State registrar, Alvin Onaka..."

*No mention of the alleged October conversation with Mr. Onaka.*

January 26, 2009 - "I spoke with the State Registrar, Alvin Onaka, back in July, and one of the things I asked him was if Hawaii followed the Census guidelines for race classifications. Call him yourself if you want to know what he told me."

*No mention of the alleged October conversation with Mr. Onaka.*

Yes, apparently "Polarik" wants us to believe that he had some kind of astonishing conversation with Mr. Onaka a whole nine months ago that completely validates his argument, and he simply completely failed to mention it until now, even when he wrote his 'Final Report,' even when he was talking about Mr. Onaka, and even when he was talking about other conversations he supposedly had with Mr. Onaka.

Frankly, after so many alleged calls to Mr. Onaka during the middle of 2008, I'm half-surprised that Onaka wouldn't start to recognize the voice on the other end of the phone. I'm sure he gets a lot of calls, but how many can he get from mainland folks wanting details on things like COLB borders and seal placement?

Who knows, maybe "Polarik" really did call Onaka in October. But if he did, you can rest assured that Onaka didn't say anything to validate "Polarik"s work. Because if he had, you would've heard about it long before now. And if you trust "Polarik" to accurately recall a conversation from nine months ago, remember that he couldn't accurately recall his own comments about TechDude, his own academic credentials, or even his own father's name over much shorter timespans.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Secret Meaning of "Polarik"

As we've seen, "Ron Polarik" has inordinate difficulty keeping his educational resume straight, and he was very much 'for' TechDude and his research before he was strongly against him. Factual consistency is, sadly, not his strong suit.

So let's cut him a break and focus on what should be the absolute simplest aspect of "Ron Polarik": his name.

First off, "Polarik" did not exist before June 2008. On June 13, 2008, his first post was made to the Townhall blog he set up, The Greater Evil.

He has a one-sentence biography at Townhall: "I have studied the Arab-Israeli conflict for 30 years." Strangely, I've never seen "Polarik" mention this bit of alleged expertise anywhere else.

"Polarik" created a Yahoo account on June 16, 2008.

"Polarik" then created a FreeRepublic account on June 22, 2008. His 'About' page states "The first (and only) authority on the Hawaiian Certification of Live Birth."

There was also a "Polarik" who posted a blog comment on June 9, 2008, on the subject of gun control. Interestingly, the post takes a pro-gun control position.

During those first several weeks, he was only "Polarik." Not "Ron Polarik". Not "Dr. Polarik." Not "Dr. Ron Polarik, PhD." Just one name, like Bjork, or Liberace.

Then, on August 10, 2008, he signed a TechDude-related apology as "Ron Polarik." I believe that's the first time he gained a first name.

Two days later, the newly christened "Ron Polarik" had a few words about the nature of his name:
"Take it from someone who has also been harassed by Obama supporters, that writing under a screen name may be the only thing that saves your ass from these insane Obamanites.

Those who criticize other people for using a screen nickname instead of their actual name need to crawl back under the rock that's been on their heads since the Internet first became a social network.

Good gosh, without pseudonyms, people would have online handles like johnsmith2004387, and who has to spend all day deleting his SPAM mailbox of emails for the other two million John Smiths in the world.

My take on some of these bloggers that I know who use their real names is that they are such egotistical narcissists that they get off anytime others write to them, using their real names.

Having THEIR blog referenced by another, more well-known blogger is simply nirvana to them."

If we hadn't known already, here we essentially have a confession that he uses a pseudonym.

September 6, 2008 was, of course, the first time he declared that he had a previously-unmentioned doctorate. After this, the "Dr." and "PhD" started appearing alongside his name often. Especially after he shared that he had a second previously-unmentioned doctorate. For instance, his Final Report has "Ron Polarik, PhD" prominently displayed at the top.

October 25, 2008:
"She still does not get it that Ron Polarik is a real name, NOT a screen name,"

So it's not a pseudonym. That is, until it was again when he offered up an origin for his internet handle on October 30, 2008:
"My first name is Ronald. Polarik is my father's last name and also is my 'screen name.'"

Yet, higher up in the same post:
"She still doesn't get that Polarik is a real name, not a screen name."

So "Polarik" manages to simultaneously claim that "Polarik" is a screen name and NOT a screen name. Let's not even bother with the inconsistency of his claim from five days earlier that "Ron Polarik" was a real name.

As I pointed out in my post on "Polarik"s credentials, his own claimed resume necessarily puts his age in the mid-sixties or early-seventies, at the least. This would put his father upwards of 80. The Social Security Death Index reports a grand total of ZERO persons with the surname "Polarik." RootsWeb WorldConnect, a user-submitted genealogy database, also has zero "Polarik"s.

In his pixel-faced YouTube video on November 25, 2008, he shared why he was concealing his identity:
"I’m concealing my identity because I have received threats from people who are loyal to Obama and who don’t want the truth to be known"

Contrast that explanation with the explanation given in his anonymous Declaration in December:
"I am submitting this opinion anonymously because I work for a government contractor and need to remain anonymous in order to keep my employer free from any ramifications due to presenting this opinion. In addition, my family needs the opinion to be anonymous due to the nature of my work."

On November 29:
"Ron is my real first name, and Polarik is what I got from my Father's real last name. I don't sign sworn and witnessed TWO Affidavits if I am a fraud or don't exist."

This could just be a matter of phrasing, but whereas "Polarik" was previously "my father's last name," now it's "what I got from my Father's real last name." That's not quite the same thing. One implies that "Polarik" is his father's actual surname, the other suggests that it's only a derivative of the actual surname. The second is the more plausible, if only because actual people named "Polarik" seem to be in short supply.

Also, despite his claim of having signed two sworn and witnessed Affidavits, a grand total of ZERO signed and witnessed Affidavits have actually been produced for anyone to see.

"I don't sign two affidavits if I'm a fraud."
"What affidavits are you talking about? Where are these affidavits?"
"Sorry. Can't say."

By December 18, 2008, he had taken to signing his posts "Ron Polarik, PhD, MS." He also included this:
""Anonymous pseudonym" is an oxymoron, and given that my name, Dr. Ron Polarik, is known around the world, I am hardly "anonymous." Krawetz uses the term, pseudonym, as a pejorative to imply that I am a "fraud." The truth is that "Dr. Ron Polarik" is the first person to blow the whistle on Obama and Factcheck"

For someone who had previously called bloggers who use their real names "egotistical narcissists" who experience nirvana when their name gets cited on the web, "Polarik" seems awfully proud of his name-recognition here.

Nothing much happens for a few months, and then "Polarik" goes and does a complete 180 on the story behind his name on April 4, 2009 (bolding mine):
"I never said that Polarik was a pseudonym. My critics and detractors did,"

Apparently, all those times he did say that "Polarik" was a pseudonym simply don't count. Like the time he said it again, twelve days later:
"For kicks, I did a search of "Polarik" on the Daily Kos website, and the only things it turned up were two comments of about ten words each -- one, in Dec 2008, by Corvo (whom I believe is actually Jay McKinnon) noting my apparent anonymity and use of a pseudonym (which, presumably, no one else does on the Internet)"

So to recap, "Polarik" is an internet handle that first appeared online for the explicit purpose of perpetuating the Birther theories, and the name "Polarik" is, alternatively,

1) his father's real last name,
2) derived from his father's last name,
3) a pseudonym, or
4) definitely not a pseudonym and any claims that it is a pseudonym is a lie by his critics.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Barack O'Bama

When Joe Biden is referred to as being "Irish Catholic", it's commonly understood that this means he comes from an Irish ethnic background. That his ancestors were Irish, not that Biden himself is from Ireland. Because that would be silly.

But let a reporter covering Barack Obama's visit to Ghana casually refer to the President as "Kenyan" when speaking with a Ghanan citizen, and WorldNetDaily's reaction is, predictably, 'MSNBC reports that Obama was born in Kenya!!!'

English must be a second language for Birthers. And I have to assume their first language is Swiss, which would explain their obsession with de Vattel.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Ever-Changing Credentials of "Dr. Ron Polarik"

If you've been exposed to Birthers for any length of time in the past several months, you've seen the name "Dr. Ron Polarik." So let's take a moment to look back on the precise credentials that "Dr." "Polarik" has claimed for himself over the past year.

When he first appeared on the scene, in his very first Townhall post, Polarik described his experience thusly:
June 13, 2008:
"I've been working with computers, printers, and typewriters for over 20 years, and given a set of printed letters, I can discern what kind of device made them."

That was Polarik's full resume for over two months. He briefly expanded it eight weeks later, in mid-August:
August 14, 2008:
"As a handwriting analyst, I can say with some certainty, that two people wrote on this record book."

A new skill, but no specific claim of higher education. That first came another two weeks after that, coincidentally a mere couple of weeks after TechDude was exposed as a fraud:
August 27, 2008:
"Little did he [Neal Krawetz] know that I have a Masters in Statistics"

OK, a Masters in Statistics. I'm not entirely sure how that's relevant at all to image analysis, but sure, why not.

In case you want to think this was a typo, he repeated it the next day. And again in an attempted comment on Krawetz's site.

However, in a comment that Polarik made a month earlier on Krawetz's site, on the exact same subject, he fails to mention any Masters in Statistics.

A little over a week later:
September 6, 2008:
"Little did he [Neal Krawetz] know that I'm also a Statistician with a Masters in Experimental Psychology and a Doctorate in Instructional Media. I don't like to flaunt it, y'know."

Now the Masters degree is in Experimental Psychology, statistics is mentioned without citing a degree, and, for the first time, he claims a doctorate in Instructional Media.
September 10, 2008:
"What was particularly irksome to me, as someone with a Doctorate in Experimental Psychology, is implying that I don't understand "basic physics," "

Now the Masters in Experimental Psychology is a Doctorate in Experimental Psychology.
September 12, 2008:
"I’ve been working with computers for 40 years. I’ve been a graphic artist for 50 years. My first “personal computer” was an S-100 I built in 1977, followed by a TRS-80, a Commodore 64, Apple I & II, IBM PC, Original Macintosh, Timex/Sinclair 1000, and lots of IBM and Unix mainframes along the way. Ive done programming in CP-M, ASP, Basic, Visual Basic, C and its variants, Java, Javascript, VBScript, Plato, DB2, HTML, SPSS, SAS, Minitab, StatPro, and everything Microsoft.

"My PhD is in Instructional Media and Experimental Psychology (dual major)."

"Well, yes, I did lie about my experience. It’s so much greater than I initially reported. I figure that credentials don’t mean squat if you cannot use your brain."

Back on August 28, Polarik criticized Neal Krawetz's credentials on this ground: "Nowhere will you find ANY specific or related experience in 'analyzing computer-generated images'". Now look at Polarik's claimed resume above. Can you taste the hypocrisy?

Also note how readily Polarik is willing to cop to lying in order to concoct a reason why it took him almost three months to mention he had multiple doctorates, as opposed to his original resume of "working with computers, printers, and typewriters."
December 18, 2008:
"I am an expert in Hawaiian Certifications of Live Birth,"

If you're willing to be generous, you could take this to mean that Polarik achieved expertise in Hawaiian COLBs between June and December. Sure, it's an obscenely narrow field to consider oneself an "expert," and I'm not sure he's claimed to have ever held more than one physical COLB (Michele's), but if the claim is that he's wasted more time obsessing over a Hawaiian COLB than anyone else, he might be right.
December 21, 2008:
"Krawetz and his crowd like to taunt me with "Krawetz is a Real PhD with a Real Name and is a Real Expert," but I got my Masters degree before Krawetz was born, and my Doctorate while he was still in grade school."

Significantly here, Polarik says "Masters degree," not "degrees." Even though between August and December he will have claimed three very different Masters degrees.

Also, Krawetz is approximately forty, so Polarik's numbers suggest that he is at least in his early-to-mid sixties. Combined with his earlier claim that he has been a graphic artist for 50 years, either he's counting back to his teenage days for that figure, or he got his "Masters degree" when he was closer to thirty, and he's now pushing seventy or more.

I welcome readers to watch Polarik's video and decide for yourself whether the pixel-faced guy in the video looks like a senior citizen.

Finally, we have the resume Polarik presented as part of his 'Declaration of XXXXXXXXXXXX' (not an Affidavit, as often claimed; it's not signed, dated, notarized, witnessed, or styled as an "Affidavit." And, of course, it's anonymous):
December 2008:
"I hold a PhD in Instructional Systems with 25+ years of
post-doctoral work experience, and a Masters Degree in Educational Research, Design, and Testing. I have worked with computers and computer printers, plotters, and optical/digital scanners, typesetting, offset printing, and automatic typewriters, for over thirty (30) years.

"In my professional career I have held positions as a Computer Programmer, Web Designer, Media Consultant, Research Director and Statistician. I have testified as a Statistical Expert in Governmental hearings over the last twenty (20) years.

"I began working with computers on or about 1969 and with graphic arts since 1965. I have worked with document image scanners since 1982 and with digital images and digital editing software since 1987. I have received professional training in the use of Adobe Photoshop and Image Ready software with a particular focus on creating web graphics. I have also worked with laser printers since 1986."

Now he adds plenty of mentions of digital imagery experience, which he apparently didn't consider important enough to mention back in September. His original claim in June of 20 years of computer work has also now doubled to 40 years.

But that's not the big reveal here. That would be the naming of Polarik's THIRD Masters Degree, this time in "Educational Research, Design, and Testing." (Fun Fact: Googling "Educational Research, Design, and Testing" produces only a handful of webpages, all of which are quoting Polarik.) Plus, his doctorate in "Instructional Media" is now a doctorate in "Instructional Systems."

Finally, I can't put a specific date on it, but Polarik's Townhall blog, The Greater Evil, has a one-sentence biography stating: "I have studied the Arab-Israeli conflict for 30 years." Strangely, I've never seen "Polarik" mention this bit of alleged expertise anywhere else. It seems likely that this was written when the blog was created in June 2008. It also provides an explanation for why the blog is titled "The Greater Evil," as that would fit a blog intended to be about the Arab-Israeli conflict more than about Obama's birth certificate.

So to recap JUST the specific claims regarding degrees from educational institutions, from June 2008 through December 2008:

Jun. 13, 2008 - Aug. 26, 2008: None.
Aug. 27, 2008: Masters in Statistics
Sep. 6, 2008: Masters in Experimental Psychology, Doctorate in Instructional Media
Sep. 10, 2008: Doctorate in Experimental Psychology
Sep. 12, 2008: PhD in Instructional Media and Experimental Psychology (dual major)
Dec. ??, 2008: PhD in Instructional Systems, Masters Degree in Educational Research, Design, and Testing.

Two different doctorates (or possibly three, depending on how accurately Polarik can name his own doctoral programs). Three different Masters degrees. And zero schools. Polarik learned his lesson well from TechDude's crash-and-burn: if you're too specific in your made-up credentials, you open the door to having those specifics discovered to be false. Better to be impenetrably vague, and not open the door to verification and exposure. If people will believe that a Iowa scam artist has a mysterious and elusive Kenyan birth certificate, then they certainly won't have any problem accepting a mere doctorate from an unnamed school.

However, when creating a false resume, it helps to be more consistent than Polarik. People may notice when new degrees appear out of thin air, or when previously claimed degrees disappear, or when a Masters suddenly becomes a Doctorate (which, in turn, then disappears entirely). People may notice when a three-times-over doctor admits to having trouble making his rent. And if you're going to initially claim that the reason for your early secrecy was a reluctance to flaunt your credentials, perhaps you shouldn't then suddenly start putting "PhD" after your name and calling yourself "Dr." at every opportunity. Consistency isn't hard when you're telling the truth, but it's the key to being an expert liar. The irony is that while Polarik insists that he is an expert but not a liar, it's the opposite that's true.

I'll give Polarik this: in his pixelated video statement, he cites his among his credentials that he's "done a lot of work with reading web pages." And I have no bones with his assertion that he's read a lot of web pages. Granted, "reading web pages" is not the kind of credential you'd normally expect to hear cited by someone with three doctorates, but it does sound like the kind of credential someone with no doctorates might make up.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Special Message from Polarik, on TechDude

"Ron Polarik" wants you to know that he NEVER trusted TechDude, a/k/a 'the other guy who claimed a whole bunch of phony credentials to bolster his claims about Obama's birth certificate':

August 24, 2008:
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but TechDude is a liar and a fraud who fabricated evidence, and outright stole the ideas of others.

"I've known that he was a fraud for a long time now, but kept it silent because my friend,TexasDarling, had bought into deception, as you did, Pamela...

"BTW, I stand behind my work, and have never made up suspicious alibis like TechDude did with his, "I've received death threats" which he used when his cover was blown."

August 25, 2008:
"PS: I'm sorry that you were taken in by TechDude. I feel badly moreso for you and TexasDarlin than I do for myself. It's tough to see someone plagiarize your ideas, and then get lionized by the blogsphere, while knowing, all along, that he was a con artist."

August 27, 2008:
I never trusted TechDude from the start and was suspicious of some of his claims, including the Hollywood-like "dead rabbit" in the mailbox trick, but I kept my thoughts to myself because Texas Darling and I are friends, and I did not wish to embarrass a friend who had trusted TechDude...

It sucked to sit on the sidelines while TechDude was sgetting all the accolades, and it also sucks now, because since the arguments raised against his research are now validated, it casts a pall on mine -- even though I stand behind everything I've done, and have never resorted to any tomfoolery to prove a point.

April 15, 2009:
"Now, I was the one who first discovered that Techdude was a fraud and I warned TexasDarlin, early on, not to trust him. My warnings about TechDude were ignored and she published his work anyway. She would, eventually, stop publishing his work, but not because he was a fraud -- she said that it was in response to TechDude's worries about his safety and the safety of his family. THAT story was bogus, the tale about the dead rabbit was bogus, and we now know that TechDude had stolen the identity of a real forensic document examiner, but when he couldn't do what he promised to do, he dropped out of sight using the excuses listed above.

"I knew that TechDude was way off the mark when I saw his preliminary work, and that a real forensic document examiner (which he had claimed to be) would never make such dubious claims)."

So there you have it: Polarik always knew TechDude was a phony. End of story. Just thought I'd share.


Oh, wait. The internet has a memory, doesn't it? Man, that's unfortunate:

July 20, 2008:
"Very nice work, TechDude, but it would have been better if you gave a little credit to others where that credit is due.

"It would also solidify your claims by adding the information from others that support it."

July 23, 2008:
"How can an article, posted on July 20, or a full month after my original proclamation that Obama's COLB image was graphically altered, be labeled as exclusive? I will admit that the techniques used by the author, TechDude, were not the ones I used to discover the forgery, and that he was the only one, to my knowledge, to have used them.

"For that, I'd like to offer a pat on the back to TechDude for the work that he did, but also a slap on the wrist, to both Techdude and Pam Geller for misleading the public by implying that they were the first ones to present evidence of a graphic forgery…

"Now, this is not to take away any of the work that TechDude has done, which is notable in its own right, and if you read my blog, you will see proper attributions made to him and his work...

"Also egregious is the fact that TechDude, myself, and TexasDarlin had agreed to publish a joint document, and, as you have now seen, one of us renegged on that agreement and stole the spotlight...

"I also confirmed that my critics and detractors, coincidentally, are also the same to TechDude and his research. It is safe to say that there will always be people who are antagonistic to others who reveal unpleasant truths...

"Hopefully, the critics and detractors will come up with their own clones made in the ways that they claimed. In the meantime, the evidence provided in my posts and in TechDude's posts far outweigh any evidence that the images are are genuine, accurate reproductions of a paper COLB document."

August 12, 2008
Why is Techdude unheard from now?

"Because this dumb-ass blogger blew his cover, and slandered both him and TexasDarlin in the process. I can tell you that I know who is TechDude, and that he is who he says he is, I can also tell you that he is temporarily laying low because of what these nutty Obama supporters will do."

I suppose I should acknowledge that in the course of his talking smack about TechDude, Polarik gave himself an 'out' for all his previous comments: he always knew TechDude was a fraud, but he "kept it silent."

Granted, it's a little surprising that in Polarik's August 10 rant about TechDude's research that while he was willing to complain about TechDude's conclusions, he didn't come close to calling him a fraud. And it's a little curious why, if Polarik knew TechDude was a fraud, he apologized for that post a couple of hours later. And it's very significant that Polarik didn't simply sit quietly on the sidelines while people fell for TechDude's act; no, Polarik was in there himself, actively praising and defending TechDude. In fact, IsraelInsider declared TechDude to be "so much hot air" on August 12, and Polarik was still actively defending him just two days earlier. The whole "kept it silent" excuse doesn't hold much water.

So it wasn't that he was keeping silent, but rather that he was simply lying the whole time. Y'know, to spare his friends' feelings. That's why he wrote praiseworthy comments in threads about TechDude's 'work.' That's why he said he was planning a joint document with TechDude. That's why he said that criticism of TechDude's verisimilitude was tantamount to slander. It was all part of his big ball of lies.

You can choose to believe that Polarik was lying during all those early weeks. You can choose to believe that Polarik has been lying since then, and never had a clue that TechDude was a fraud. Either way, he's firmly established himself as not only willing to lie to his audience, but willing to lie consistently and for extended periods of time.

So was he lying before, or lying since? Take your pick. The important thing to remember is that you don't have to choose just one.

There's a Birther Suckered Every Minute

So after having his previous five auctions pulled, Lucas Smith of Cedar Rapids, Iowa posted a sixth eBay auction on the evening of July 2. I don't know if he'd seen this blog, but he'd definitely seen the fallout on FreeRepublic:

So now eBay removes my listing for selling a picture? That doesn't sound bizarre to anyone? And I read that people are finding information about Smith posted on the internet which supposedly discredits him? Smith is a scammer? Give me a break.

And now when we go to log into InspectorSmith's Youtube account our password is not recognized. All this for a scam, huh, a good laugh?

Just the other day I noted that I was thankful for freerepublic dot com. Reminds me of a bunch off lukewarm turncoats. Change your opinion every time that the wind blows in a different direction. Here's another quote, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” - Alexander Hamilton. And what, what will be your opinion tomorrow? "O" was born in the USA? Make up your minds, have a little backbone.

I happened to stumble across the auction less than ten minutes after it was posted, and although I promptly reported it to eBay (with a link to my last post attached for good measure). Yet it's still there, four days later. And no, I'm not going to link to it.

At first, I wondered why eBay wasn't acting this time. Then I realized why: Lucas isn't breaking the rules this time. In fact, while I rather doubt this was his plan from the start, he's ended up engineering quite the ingenious little scam here.

Here's the relevant parts of the auction listing, stating exactly what the auction is for:

Autographed photo of Smith and Andylenny, abroad. In airport.

There won't be anymore eBay auctions for documents, stories or dissertations.

The photo in this listing is up for auction. On the left is Smith and on the right is Andylenny. This photo will be signed by Smith, as Smith. This will be the only autographed photo put up for auction. One auction, one winning bidder, one photo. No more. There wont be duplicate photos or other photos for auction later. (Though I might try a relist if eBay kicks this auction off before enough people have had the chance to see this photo.)

You are welcome to copy and paste, or save, the digital photo in this listing. This auction is not so much for $$$ gain. It's meant to give a face or two to the O proof story. If anyone comes forward with our O proof other than one of the two faces that you see in this auction then you'll know that it wasn't the proof offered in our five previous auctions. Also this picture will vouch for the credibility of the soon coming Youtube video. If you don't see one of the two faces that you see in this auction then you'll know that it's not our Youtube video.

For the record I want to state that this auction is for an autographed photo of Smith and Andylenny. Signed by Smith, as Smith. You are not bidding on anything other than that, there will be no accompanying documents. There will be no meeting at the Iowa Capitol Building. This is not an attempt to circumvent eBay policies.

This photo will be shipped USPS Priority Mail. It will be shipped free of charge (domestic addresses) to the winning bidder.

For this, Lucas's auction has so far received a total of 21 competitive bids, for a current high bid of $2,850.00. The starting bid was $100. And there are still over three days left.

He makes it abundantly, and repeatedly, clear that the auction is ONLY for the photo, and nothing else. He continues to talk the Birther talk, but still offers up nothing that actually backs up his previous claims. He doesn't even explicitly claim the photo is from his alleged trip to Kenya; it's just a photo of himself "abroad. In airport." Given what we know about Lucas Smith's history, and given the look of this photo and the other photos he previously posted, it's incredibly likely that this photo was taken in the Dominican Republic.

Yes, some gullible Birther is about to be the proud owner of a three thousand dollar Caribbean travel photo. Signed by some dude from Cedar Rapids.

The ingenious part of this is that after that transaction takes place, I'm not sure that Lucas Smith will have done anything actionable. He clearly states that he's auctioning a signed print of that photo. He, presumably, will deliver a signed print of that photo. This auction listing is not misleading or even ambiguous as to what's being offered for sale. The winning bidder simply isn't going to have anything to stand on if they complain to eBay; they bid for a photo, they won a photo. It's not eBay's fault or Lucas's fault that they were stupid enough to pay three grand for it.

I'm not even sure it's WorldNetDaily's fault, but they're definitely guilty of some willful journalistic ignorance on this. They've posted multiple stories on Lucas's auction, often burying mention of his failure to evidence his claims. And although they ran a front-page story on the appearance of this auction, they have run no stories about all the revelations that have come to light about Mr. Lucas Smith of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The most positive explanation for this failure is that WND has just somehow failed to see those reports; the negative explanation, on the other hand, is that while WND led its readers down the rabbit hole of believing this guy's fiction, they're afraid to admit their mistake now. And so rather than cop to it and look foolish, they're playing silent and allowing readers to continue believing in this guy enough to pay him thousands.

Of course, this doesn't tell us anything new about WND's journalistic integrity. But I think it does show us just how much contempt WND truly has for its own trusting readers. It could save some gullible reader a lot of financial pain by running a simple correction and apology; but while Joseph Farah is willing to pay ten grand for Obama birth witnesses, it seems that eating a little crow is more than he can afford.

Now of course, maybe the bidders aren't being serious either, and have no intention of paying. I'm not sure if we'll ever know the answer to that. But even then the great irony will be that they will be the ones violating eBay policy in this particular auction, not Lucas. He may be a crook and a liar, but doggone it if at the end of the day he hasn't managed to con the Birthers without actually promising anything he can't deliver. If it wasn't for the fact that he made it so easy to track down his real identity, I'd almost suspect he was a decent conman.