The Birther movement started between two and three years ago borne out of what I perceive as a racist element of the Tea Party’s imagination. It resonated with the residual racism inbred into many white Americans who find it hard to swallow that a black man who went to school in America could achieve what Obama has. He has to be from somewhere else. They labeled an American Christian; a Muslim African Socialist, and racist whites across America latched onto this like ravenous pit bulls on a T-bone steak. I am not prepared to call everyone that subscribed to this ideology a racist, however, I have to question if there is just a tinge of racism residing in their psyche.
Even after the Supreme Court struck down the cases brought before it each and every time, this movement would not go away. So eventually, President Obama released his “Certificate of Live Birth” to the public. Hawaii being a state with a predominately foreign culture is bound to do things a little differently than many of the other states that call their official record of birth a “Birth Certificate”. To doubters, the name “Certificate of Live Birth” understandably sounds foreign and fraudulent despite that it is the only legally acceptable proof of birth recognized in the state of Hawaii. The CoLB appeared, mechanical, clinical and sterile and in direct contrast to the vision doubters had of a flawed, man made and touched document.
After a media crusade by Donald Trump, President Obama released the unofficial, unrecognized, organic record of his birth, complete with human signatures, diagonal stamps, and different shades of ink from various unique sources via downloadable PDF available directly from the official White House website. I like many believers were relieved that this would finally be put to bed but disgusted that for the first time in the history of this country, The Commander in Chief had to show these documents to the public, especially to allow an unofficial identification document to trump the official document.
With almost comical irony the Birthers challenged the authentication and validity of the unofficial document. This charge lead by none other than Donald Trump unleashed a tsunami of Amateur Adobe forensic analyzers. A chink in the armor was quickly identified, opening the PDF with Adobe Illustrator broke the text apart into points that could be falsified or forged. This was both suspicions to believers and damning to Birthers. Alex Jones and his ilk leveled charges of incompetence: either the administration was stupid enough to make such a blunder and not smart enough to cover their tracks and unfit to lead or they are clever like a fox to keep us distracted discussing this fiasco instead of the addressing the administration’s policy blunders.
Soon after, a knight in shining armor rode in on the Fox News Network (of all places). An adobe Certified Professional who claimed that it was the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software from the scanner that caused the layers trying to interpolate the text as editable characters. Made sense to me, then I watched a YouTube video that showed that scanning does not cause the layers, though his scanner lacked the OCR feature.
Now I got into the mix. I had the PDF flattened into a JPG. We printed the JPG and scanned it on a scanner that had OCR software and there was no layering. Then we turned it into a PDF… No layers. It was looking bad for the Obama administration until… We saved it as a Searchable PDF. A searchable PDF is a PDF that has text in it. It uses OCR technology to separate text from background and graphics, and turns it into editable text. Layers were now present in Illustrator. When the Searchable function is saved as the default, it will do it automatically. This function would be ideal for people looking to have a paperless digital operation like the government. Mystery solved, there was no conspiracy, just some worker that never foresaw someone opening a raster file in a vector editor. When you open the PDF in Photoshop it does not separate. It only separates in Illustrator and CorelDraw, programs that most people have no experience in and would not think to test the document with. Photoshop yes (no brainer), Illustrator not so much.
Bottom line… This was just another division, diversion and publicity grabber for The Donald and The Tea Party. Thank you so much for giving it to them (myself included).