Proof That Obama’s Birth Certificate Is Fake

June 11, 2012

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Scanned image of Barack Obama's birth certific...

Image via Wikipedia

Note: This article originally ran on May 26, 2010

For several years, President Obama has been dodging the issue of his birth certificate.  His camp has repeatedly insisted that it is genuine and ridiculed those who dare to question the authenticity.  But is there more to the story?  Of course there is.  Here are the cold, hard facts that prove that the birth certificate is a fake.

  • The first step was to determine whether or not a genuine birth certificate existed in some other part of the world.  Taking a cue from his last name, we traveled to O’Bama’s ancestral country of Ireland.  In a dark records room in the city of Cork, we discovered a birth certificate insisting that O’Bama was born at a Cork hospital.
  • We performed a detailed scientific analysis on the certificate itself.  While the paper does indeed date back to 1961, the ink does not.  Noted forensic inkyologist Marsupial Jones suggests that the ink is no more than 5 years old.
  • Information from confidential government sources indicate that Lee Harvey Oswald was being handled by the CIA and was only following orders.
  • Why is the state of Hawaii joining in the cover-up?  Our sources within the state department indicate that key Democratic members of congress threatened harsh economic sanctions against Hawaii if they failed to comply.  Planes would have been forbidden to land in the state, cutting off the vital flow of tourists’ money.  The United States would also have ceased imports from Hawaii – notably sugar cane and Don Ho albums.
  • While Hawaii became a state in 1959, its citizens did not immediately become full citizens of the US.  Residents of any new states  are under a probationary citizenship during the first five years of statehood.  Only residents born after this five year waiting period are considered to be natural-born U.S. citizens (and thus eligible for the presidency).  Obama was born in 1961 – three years before the end of this waiting period.
  • Sites such as Fact Check have shown a photo of a birth announcement purportedly published in the Honolulu Advertiser on August 13, 1961.  However, this evidence does not stand up to close scrutiny.  Once again, Marsupial Jones indicates that the ink is relatively fresh.  Additionally, many of the news stories read more like the The Onion than a serious newspaper.  Look no further than the article about the Cubs-Cardinals baseball game on page 2B, which makes reference to the “reigning world champion Chicago Cubs”.
  • Take a copy of Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope.  Beginning at page 12 and going through page 297, write down the first letter of the first noun on the fourth sentence of the page.  You’ll be stunned at the secret message.


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Pitching Rotations: An Alternative Strategy

June 2, 2010

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At the start of each season, each team sends its ace to the mound on opening day, squaring off against the other team’s top pitcher. The next day, the second best pitchers on each team face off, and so on. At some point in the season, this does get disrupted by rainoff and off days so that the pitching matchups no longer align.

But I’ll pose this question: is this the best strategy, anyway?

Let’s look at the rotation of two teams.  Note: the ERAs are exaggerated for the sake of illustration.

Good team:

  • Pitcher 1: 1.00 ERA
  • Pitcher 2: 3.00 ERA
  • Pitcher 3: 5.00 ERA
  • Pitcher 4: 7.00 ERA
  • Pitcher 5: 9.00 ERA

Bad Team

  • Pitcher 1: 2.00 ERA
  • Pitcher 2: 4.00 ERA
  • Pitcher 3: 6.00 ERA
  • Pitcher 4: 8.00 ERA
  • Pitcher 5: 10.00 ERA

If the teams were to play five games, with the top pitchers facing off in the first game, the second best pitchers in the second game, etc, the bad team would be the underdog in all five games.

But if the bad team makes a slight adjustment to its rotation, it would be the favorite in four of the games. How? Let’s look at this:

  • Good pitcher 1 (1.00) vs. Bad pitcher 5 (10.00): Advantage Good
  • Good pitcher 2 (3.00) vs. Bad pitcher 1 (2.00): Advantage Bad
  • Good pitcher 3 (5.00) vs. Bad pitcher 2 (4.00): Advantage Bad
  • Good pitcher 4 (7.00) vs. Bad pitcher 3 (6.00): Advantage Bad
  • Good pitcher 5 (9.00) vs. Bad pitcher 4 (8.00): Advantage Bad

It’s important to note that this is a very extreme example.  In the real world, the ERAs would be much closer together.

If you’re a card player, you probably understand what’s going on.  It’s a situation where your opponent has an Ace, Queen, Ten to your King, Jack, Nine.  You lose all three tricks if you throw your King against the Ace, your Jack against the Queen, and your Nine to the Ten.  However, if you discard the Nine against the Ace, you can take the Queen with your King and the Ten with your Jack.

I’m not advocating this strategy for everyone.  It basically involves surrendering one of the games to your opponent.  If you feel that your pitchers are close to the same level of the opponent, this might not be the best strategy.  However, if the opponent has a record of 22-1 with a 0.99 ERA, throwing your ace against him might be a waste of a good pitcher.  The teams that would benefit most are teams whose pitchers are a bit inferior to the opponent.

There are only a few times a year when teams would have the ability to use this strategy without seriously disrupting the preparation of the pitchers – the start of the year, the beginning of the second half (after the All Star break) and on days when there is a doubleheader.  If your ace is going to pitch one of the games of a doubleheader, it may make sense to pitch him opposite the other team’s ace, if the other team’s ace is a super-hero.

Saturday Stew

July 11, 2009

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With the slotting of the weekly columns on Wednesday, Wednesday Wisps are probably going to be few and far between. Until the schedule is completely shaken out, Saturday Stew will take its place. Just like Wednesday Wisps, there will be a bunch of small ideas in the stew.



Twins prospect B.J. Hermsen grew up a hop, skip, and a jump from my hometown. Iowa is, I’m fairly certain, the only state that has summer baseball for high schoolers – other states have it in the spring. This makes is fairly unusual for Iowa kids to get drafted very high, because they peak later than the other players, simply because the schedule is later (in fact, the season is still ongoing when the MLB draft occurs).

Last year, Hermsen dropped to the 6th round. He likely would have been picked higher, but he was also a stud quarterback in football, and there was uncertainty that he would sign. Well, the Twins offered him $650,000 and Hermsen signed.

At long last, Hermsen made his minor league debut on June 24. How did he do? He tossed six perfect innings. The bullpen closed the deal and they finished with a combined no hitter. Not a bad debut. Hermsen probably hated to come out of the game, but as a young kid who almost certainly was on a pitch count, the Twins front office probably would have fired the manager if he had pushed him too far in his pro debut!

How did he do for an encore? Not bad – he allowed 2 runs (1 earned), 4 hits, and a walk in 5 1/3 innings – pushing his ERA up to 0.79 for the season.


And speaking of great pitching performances, Rockies farmhand Brandon Hynick was the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week for the week ending July 5. He pitched in one game during the week, and threw a 7 inning perfect game. The teams were completing a suspended game that day, as well as playing another game, hence the shorter games (it is relatively common for minor league teams to play 7 inning games when there is a double header). It still counted as an official game, though – the 9th perfect game in the storied history of the PCL. The kicker? He did it at home, in the sky high altitude of Colorado Springs. If you think the air in Denver is thing, go to Colorado Springs some time!

Bluffer vs. Bargain

In January, I wrote an article entitled The Bluffer and the Bargain, highlighting Jason Varitek and Andruw Jones.  The gist is that I thought Varitek had overplayed his hand and that Jones  was a great pickup for the money, since the Dodgers were picking up nearly all his salary.

Nearly six months later, how are these guys doing?

Varitek is actually having a pretty good year, with  12 homers and a .825 OPS (through July 7).  This means I’m wrong, right?  Well, no.  In January, I said that he had put himself in a bad position by declining arbitration and would likely not sign for more than $5 million – half his 2008 salary.  What did he sign for – $5 million.  And most people felt that the Red Sox could have squeezed him a bit more.

Andruw Jones signed a $500K deal with the Rangers (don’t feel too bad for him, as the Dodgers are also paying him the remainder of a 2 year, $36 million deal he signed befor the 2008 season).  Jones has been a part time player and has been a bit up and down over the course of the season.  As I write this article on July 8, Jones just launched his 3rd homer o the game – bringing his season total to 14 homers in 160 at bats.  Bear in mind that a lot of players have around 300 at bats already.  This is great production from a $500K player.  Well played, Rangers.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson died with  a reported $400 million in debt, but also with substantial assets, including the rights to his own music and the music of other artists (including a share in the music of The Beatles).

I have a thought on a way for the estate to raise cash on pay off the debt.  Incorporate the major assets – form Michael Jackson Entertainment, Inc.  Then have an IPO.  Jackson fans – as well as other investors – could own a share of Jackson’s assets.  With the outpouring we have seen since Jackson’s death, what sort of money could an IPO raise?


I was discussing the auto industry with a friend of mine as we enjoyed lunch at the outside grill at Nelson’s Deli in Cedar Rapids (great burgers and brats!).  I began the conversation with this rather unconventional thought – “If we took all the money that was spent on research and development and infrastructure for cars and planes, we could build a nationwide teleporter network.  We’d only need one pod  per city block, since they would only be in use for a few seconds at a time.

After Dave nearly spit Coke all over the table, he countered with a rational idea.  “How much cheaper would cars be if they didn’t include a warranty?”  At first, this seems like a crazy idea.  Who would buy a car without a warranty?  Warranties are a big reason why people buy new cars.

But take a deeper look at this.  Warranties, of course, are not free.  Car companies build the cost of warranty repairs into the cost of the car.  Basically, you are paying for the expected average cost of warranty repairs.  That doesn’t sound too bad, right?  Except that since warranty work can only be performed at authorized dealers, they’re building in the cost of dealership labor and OEM parts!  If you’re like me, you know a guy who can fix things with cheaper, non-OEM parts, as well as cheaper labor.  And my guy is just as good as the dealer (in some cases, clearly better than the dealer).

I don’t see this idea actually gaining any traction at all, simply due to the huge financial risk when it comes to cars.  Perhaps, though, there’s room for a warranty that only covers major repairs – perhaps with a $500 deductible.  How much money would this shave off the sticker price?

Sleep less, live more years

May 23, 2009

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Recently, there have been some scientific studies suggesting that lack of sleep may shave some years off your life.  I have no concerns with the methods they used to reach their conclusions.  It is very likely that the data do indeed prove their hypothesis.

However, this brings me to a key question.  Are we simply trying to maximize the number of years that we remain on earth, or are we trying to maximize the amount of “living” we do?  I am going to take a look at our post college years.  Let’s assume this would span from age 22 to 82.  40 of the years will be in the workforce and 20 years will be in retirement.

In phase 1, we are going to be busy with work, family, and household chores.  If we sleep 9 hours, this might leave 2 hours for pure leisure during the  week and perhaps 7 hours on Saturday and Sunday, if we’re lucky.  That’s 24 leisure hours in a week, along with 63 sleep hours and 40 work hours.  The remaining 41 hours are spent eating, commuting, shopping, mowing lawn, paying bills, etc.  24 leisure hours X 52 weeks X 40 years = 49,920 leisure hours during our working years.

After retirement, we gain a bit more control over our lives, although advancing age eventually sneaks up and grabs your leisure time.  Let’s says that, on average, you can spend 8 hours per day on leisure activities during your retirement years.  That’s 56 hours per week.  56 X 52 weeks X 20 years = 58,240 leisure hours during our retirement years.

If we add  these two numbers, we get a total of 108,160 leisure hours during our post-collegiate years.  This is an average of 1803 leisure hours per years.  Let’s call this chunk of fun time a “leisure year”.

Now let’s assuming that we reduce our sleeping hours from 9 hours per night to 6.  We further assume that we do this with no short term impacts, just the long term impact of dying sooner.  This is likely to be a somewhat flawed assumption, but there are a lot of people who function at very high levels on 6 hours of sleep.

If we reduce sleep by 3 hours per day, we should increase leisure by the same amount.  3 hours X 7 days X 52 weeks X 60 years =   65,520 extra leisure hours, or 36 extra “leisure years”.  In essence, we gain the “fun part” of 36 extra years.

Would you trade a few years at the end of your life for 65,000 extra leisure hours spread out over your adult years?