Friday, January 3, 2014

Subject: Facts versus Facts

Click on the image above to view a larger version.

The picture above of snow on the pyramids is claimed to be a fake by Esquire magazine HERE, and a web site HERE, while a web site HERE suggests that it is real.  Which is it?  Real or fake?

The initial evidence of fakery seemed to consist entirely of three FACTS:

FACT #F-1: The picture seems to have been shot from the same spot as the picture below:
FACT #F-2: The two pictures seem to be tilted at the exact same angle.

FACT #F-3:  There are some KNOWN FAKES of snow on the pyramids on the Internet.

But those three FACTS didn't seem sufficient to prove it's a fake.  

There are also some FACTS which say that the picture COULD BE real:

FACT #R-1: Snow DID fall in Cairo on December 13, 2013.  Click HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE for news stories.  

FACT #R-2:  The pyramids are less than ten miles from the center of Cairo.

FACT #R-3: The weather system that caused the snow covered hundreds (maybe thousands) of miles and buried many places north of Cairo in deep snow. 

FACT #R-4: Because of the unrest in Egypt these days, tourists are discouraged from visiting the pyramids. Combined with the fact that it's winter and snowing, and since some vendors near the pyramids have become violent,  there wouldn't be hundreds of tourists taking pictures of the snow on the pyramids. 

FACT #R-5:  The KNOWN FAKES were not created in the same way as the picture in question would have to have been created (IF it is a fake).

Here is some information about the known "fake" pictures of snow on the pyramids:

FRAUDS. There are other pictures of snow on the pyramids which are KNOWN to be FRAUDS.  A fraud is something that is represented as something it is not.  Example, the picture below is a REAL picture which supposedly shows snow on a pyramid:

But, it's snow on the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, which is shaped like a pyramid.  So, it's a real picture, but it's not a picture of the actual pyramids.  That makes it a fraud.  Here's another fraud:

The picture above is actually a model of the Sphinx and a pyramid in a park in Tokyo.  It was really covered with snow.  So, it's a REAL picture, but it's not a picture of what it is claimed to be.

Here's another shot of the Sphinx model from another angle at a different time of year:

TRICKS.  The are real pictures of the real pyramids which supposedly show them covered with snow, but it is a TRICK done in a computer by simply altering colors.  The yellow sand and granite are made white.  Example from the British newspaper Mirror and wafflesatnoon.com:

FACT R-5: The picture at the top of this blog thread did not appear to be either a "fraud" or a "trick."  It seemed that IF it was a fake, it was a true work of art "fake" piicture that someone spent a lot of time and effort to DELIBERATELY create.  They would have had to

1.  Replace the sky and get the new sky to fit perfectly around the blocks of the pyramid.
2.  Add the two men into the picture without any indication they were artificially added.
3.  Change the color and lighting on the pyramids.
4.  Remove objects on the ground to make them appear to be covered with snow (see below),
5.  Remove the shadow of the column (near the man's foot).
6.  Add a cloud haze around the top of the pyramid.
7.  Paint a layer of snow on the stone block at lower left.

Here's a larger view of the snow covered stone block in the lower left corner of the "fake" (top) and the same stone block from the real picture (bottom):

This illustration shows some interesting things.

First, it shows that the area in the lower right in the "real" picture has uneven spots and debris on the ground which do not appear in the "fake" picture.  So, they would have to be removed.  Or, if the picture is real, the rough spots and debris were simply covered over with snow.

Second, if you click on the image to make it larger, you'll clearly see that the snow atop the block is not smooth.  The light playing on the surface of the snow covering shows the snow is uneven as if it is a layer of snow on an uneven surface.  That is NOT easy to create.  It's either the work of an artist, or it's an indicator that the picture is real.

Third, notice that the stone blocks BEHIND the block in the foreground are slightly different.  You can see more of the rear blocks in the real picture than the rear blocks in the "fake" picture.  There are two possible explanations for that: (1) The snow is piled pretty high and thus covers more of the block that is behind, or (2) the "real" photograph was taken from a position a few inches higher than the "fake" picture.  That would mean that the "fake" picture was NOT made from the real picture.  The "fake" is also real.

"Waffles" at Wafflesatnoon.com kindly provided this color adjusted version of the real picture:

And he provided the animated GIF file below which flips between the real picture and the "fake."  His intent, presumably, was to show that the "fake" is simply a color adjusted version of the real picture.

But, for me, the animated GIF just illustrated the vast differences between the pictures.  It showed the changing sky.  It showed the snow on the stone block at the lower left appearing and disappearing.  It showed the two men in the bottom center appearing and disappearing.  It showed the haze on the top of the Great Pyramid appearing and disappearing.  But most of all, it showed the light changing.  Notice particularly how the long platform behind the middle of the pillar changes from dark to light, indicating more than a simple color adjustment.  There's also a big change in the direction of the light source.

So, I hunted for the sources for the "real" picture and the "fake" picture.  Much larger versions would allow me to make a much better comparison.

Finally, I was supplied with NEW evidence.  Someone provide a link to the web site of post-apocalyptic art HERE.  It supplied some NEW FACTS:

FACT F-4:  That web page was created on April 27, 2013, before the snow reports in Egypt.

FACT F-5: The version of picture of the snow on the pyramids is equal in size to the largest version I have been able to find elsewhere.  It's the same size as the picture at the very top of this thread.

FACT F-6: It is all that it needed to be to convince me it was not a real picture, i.e., it is a work of art that took someone a long time to create.   

So, while I was once 95% certain that the picture was real, the NEW FACTS have convinced me that the picture is a work of art that was fraudulently presented on the Internet as being a real picture.  I'm 99.99% convinced of that.  But, I'm still open to SOLID proof that shows me to be wrong again.

A COMPLICATION: There is another picture (shown below) from a web site HERE which supposedly shows snow on the pyramids.  And, it shows similar wintery clouds in the sky.  But, it also seems to have a matching picture on the Internet that does not show snow.  And, in addition to the very different sky and coloring, there are also some very subtle minor differences between the two pictures:

One of the less subtle differences is that the picture with the snow also contains a man on a white camel in the lower right corner of the picture.  The man and camel are not there in the picture without snow.


Plus, there may be some unknown reason for people to take pictures from that spot (and the other spot), since I found another picture HERE that was taken from nearly the same angle:
And here's another:

So, do the FACTS say this picture is "fake" or do the facts say it is "real"?

On January 15, 2013, someone provided me with a tool to find other versions of the picture.  Using that tool, I found this version:

It also shows the same man on the camel.  And it shows the same clouds.  And, there still appears to be snow on the ground and on the pyramid even though it is not blue color adjusted like the other version.

So, does it really show snow on the pyramids?  It doesn't seem like another "work of art."  The web page where the photo is for sale says it was taken by Andre Klaassen, but it doesn't say WHEN it was taken. However, some research find that Andre Klaassen also took the picture which doesn't show the man on the camel, and he seems to do work on manipulating images to create works of art.

So, I feel, with about 95 percent certainty, that the facts say it is a work of art,  and NOT a REAL picture of snow on the pyramids. 

However, I am always open to new and better facts which solidly prove it one way or the other.

Ed       

107 comments:

  1. This is a nice photo

    A Spanish painter Francisco de Goya said this:

    "Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels."

    MORE http://museum.cornell.edu/collections/view/the-sleep-of-reason-produces-monsters.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joseph,

    That's a very interesting quote. Thanks. I looked it up HERE and found a couple quotes expressing similar thoughts from Albert Einstein:

    “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”


    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can scarcely believe it: I, Mister Lake, Joseph from Spain (not to mention Goya and Einstein) all are on the same page vis-a-vis the imagination!

      I don't have anything meaningful to say about the pyramid-pics but it seems like a job for Smilla as in SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW. Interesting flick, haven't read the book.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120152/

      Delete
    2. Mr. Rowley,

      Don't take the agreement too far. We don't believe that imagination is better than facts when it comes to solving crimes and prosecuting criminals.

      My records show I bought a DVD copy of "Smilla's Sense of Snow" on July 22, 2003 for $6.99. I'd seen it before that, and I liked it so much I had to buy a copy. The last time I watched it was on September 11, 2011. So far, I've watched it 4 or 5 times.

      Ed

      Delete
  3. Don't take the agreement too far. We don't believe that imagination is better than facts when it comes to solving crimes and prosecuting criminals.
    ===================================================
    No, and the facts most important to me are:

    1) no proof Ivins was in New Jersey in Sept-Oct of 2001.

    2) no proof Ivins wrote (ie authored) the letters in question.*

    3) no proof Ivins xeroxed the texts in question.

    4) no proof Ivins did any drying of anthrax in August to October of 2001.

    And it isn't my 'imagination' saying that!


    *Since I don't take the 'amino acid code' seriously. Natch.
    ==============================================
    After thinking it over for a while, I recant: Smilla was accustomed, in Greenland, to
    noting variations in snow IMPRESSIONS. This probably wouldn't have been applicable in the case of the pyramids. But a Smilla-like person who had observed
    snow on the pyramids (then or on another occasion) might be able to tell whether
    the distribution pattern (salient depth on objects) in the photo is consistent with what she observed before.......(just a guess!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. R. Rowley wrote: "No, and the facts most important to me are:

    1) no proof Ivins was in New Jersey in Sept-Oct of 2001."


    NOT A FACT. That is just your belief.

    "2) no proof Ivins wrote (ie authored) the letters in question.*"

    NOT A FACT. That is just your belief.

    "3) no proof Ivins xeroxed the texts in question."

    NOT A FACT. That is just your belief.

    "4) no proof Ivins did any drying of anthrax in August to October of 2001."

    NOT A FACT. That is just your belief.

    "And it isn't my 'imagination' saying that!"

    YES, it is. If you were looking the the FACTS, you would have no choice but to agree with the FBI. It's just your imagination that says there is some other explanation.

    I'm accustomed to photo analysis. So, while others may see things that they believe indicate the picture is a fake, I see different things that say it is almost certainly real. What they believe is easy to do to create a fake, I know is VERY difficult to do.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  5. R. Rowley wrote: "No, and the facts most important to me are:

    1) no proof Ivins was in New Jersey in Sept-Oct of 2001."

    Similarly, there are no facts showing that a child wrote the anthrax letters as Ed Lake claims.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm just going to comment, in the interests of brevity, on two sentences (maybe three) in Mister Lake's Sunday comment:

    "There IS, of course, "proof" that Ivins was in New Jersey in Sept-Oct of 2001. It's just not the kind of "proof" that the Anthrax Truthers demand."
    =================================================
    Again, if it were a bank robbery committed in Princeton, New Jersey, you would want DISCRETE proof (or at least a strong indication) that the Maryland man accused made the trip in the proper TIMEFRAME. Saying "all the evidence" doesn't speak to the trip (in Amerithrax trips) allegedly made. It assumes (let's say 'infers') that the trips were made by Ivins. The authorities ALSO infer he did the printing (since they don't employ a child-printed-it hypothesis, nor do they admit of any adult abettor). They also infer that Ivins did the xeroxing. They ALSO infer the drying/purification of the anthrax was done by Ivins, and for the same reason: they had no other suspects in mid-summer 2008 (ie at the end of the case), and to have admitted he might not have done the crimes would have been to admit a failure by the Task Force. Apparently an institutional no-no.
    Inference (does not)=proof.
    The 'case against Ivins' is all inference, and nothing solid.
    Reason (and applying the same logical and legal standards as in other case) tells us that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. R.Rowley wrote: "The 'case against Ivins' is all inference, and nothing solid."

    Not so.

    But, even if it were so, the basis for the inferences would STILL be evidence in court.

    Using your example, if a Maryland man is accused of robbing a bank in Princeton, New Jersey, you can PROVE in court that he did it by proving he possessed the money taken in the robbery and that he had the means and motive to commit the robbery. If he has no alibi for the time of the robbery, you can infer that the reason he has no alibi is because he was in New Jersey committing the robbery. In other words, he had the opportunity.

    There IS SOLID evidence against Ivins:

    1. He was in charge of the "murder weapon" (flask RMR-1029).

    2. He had motive.

    3. He had the means.

    4. He tried to mislead the investigation.

    5. He lied to the authorities.

    6. He could not explain what he was doing in his lab during the time the anthrax powders would have been made.

    Etc., etc., etc.

    You may not consider that to be "solid" enough by your standards, but it is solid enough to convict a person in court.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "The authorities ALSO infer he did the printing (since they don't employ a child-printed-it hypothesis, nor do they admit of any adult abettor). "

    They do not "infer" that he did the writing. They have WITNESSES who say that the writing on the anthrax letters resembled the kind of writing Ivins would use when sending packages that he didn't want traced back to him.

    The authorities have INFINITELY MORE evidence against Ivins than you have against the person (or organization) who you think sent the anthrax letters. Why do you believe your evidence is better than the evidence against Ivins? If you evidence is better, how many people have you been able to convince that it is better?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed, several hundred people had access to the "murder weapon" (i.e., genetically matching Ames strain) -- and that is just at USAMRIID. It has been proved, and you agree, that the mailed anthrax did not come directly out of RMR 1029 so use of the phrase "murder weapon" is meaningless and misleading. You have agreed that the US Attorney was mistaken and that the genetically matching Ames was also stored in Building 1412. And you have agreed that the US Attorney was mistaken that the lyophilizer was available for Ivins to use. You are correct that the FBI did not "infer" he did the writing. The FBI expert concluded he probably did NOT do the writing. Your claim that there is evidence he travelled to New Jersey demonstrates you are not qualified to discuss the issue. You don't even read the literature on the subject which explains why you are so uninformed.

      Delete
    2. "Anonymous" wrote: "the mailed anthrax did not come directly out of RMR 1029 so use of the phrase "murder weapon" is meaningless and misleading."

      Take the matter up with the Department of Justice. They use the term in the Amerithrax Investigative summary Table of Contents: "RMR-1029 is the source of the murder weapon".

      RMR-1029 was the source of the "murder weapon" in the same way that a gun is the source of the bullet that killed someone. Ivins used the contents of RMR-1029 to make more of what was in "the murder weapon."

      The number of people who had access to the "murder weapon" doesn't mean anything if ONLY IVINS had the means, motive and opportunity to use it.

      "Anonymous" also wrote: "Your claim that there is evidence he travelled to New Jersey demonstrates you are not qualified to discuss the issue. "

      All you are saying when you argue that I am not "qualified to discuss the issue" is that you are INCAPABLE of intelligently discussing the issue, since you work only with beliefs and not with facts.

      Ed

      Delete
  8. "Anonymous" wrote: "Similarly, there are no facts showing that a child wrote the anthrax letters as Ed Lake claims."

    Which reminds me of Biblical verse Jeremiah 5:21: "Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not".

    Or, as Jonathan Swift put it: "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

    I've listed a dozen of the facts WITH ILLUSTRATIONS HERE. There are a lot more. Are you saying they are not facts? Or are you saying the only facts you will accept are facts which do not require any reasoning on your part?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  9. In the thread on this blog titled "Handwriting Evidence" (click HERE), I listed 12 FACTS which show that a child wrote the anthrax letters. Here they are again:

    Fact #1. Between the writing of the Brokaw letter and the addressing of the Brokaw envelope, the writer seems to have learned the correct way to draw the letter R (and other characters of the alphabet).

    Fact #2. Adults do not generally learn the correct way to draw letters of the alphabet between writing a letter and addressing an envelope.

    Fact #3. Children are generally taught the correct way to draw letters of the alphabet in the first weeks of first grade.

    Fact #4. The writing on the media letter and envelopes was roughly twice the size of the writing on the senate letter and envelopes.

    Fact #5. Adults go not generally change the size of their handwriting.

    Fact #6. Children are generally taught to write smaller in the first weeks of first grade.

    Fact #7. The media letter did NOT use punctuation, while the senate letter mailed three weeks later DID use punctuation.

    Fact #8. Adults generally write from habit and do not switch from not using punctuation to using punctuation.

    Fact #9. Children are taught about punctuation in the first weeks of first grade.

    Fact #10. The anthrax letters were sent out at about the same time as children were beginning the first weeks of first grade (September & October 2001).

    Fact #11. Adults who attempt to disguise their handwriting generally do so by (A) writing with their "wrong" hand, (B) writing upside down, or (C) copying someone else's handwriting.

    Fact #12. None of the above methods of disguising one's handwriting would result in a change in how characters of the alphabet are drawn, a change in writing size OR a change in the use of punctuation. Differences generally result from fluctuations between the disguised style they are attempting to use and the habitual style they regularly use.


    I challenge "Anonymous" to explain why he believes those TWELVE facts are not facts. If he cannot do that, I challenge him to provide ADDITIONAL facts which prove that those 12 facts are misleading and that an adult actually DID write the letters.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As we have discussed, Ed, not a single person -- not even your sister -- agrees with you. That should suffice as a reality check.

      Delete
    2. I haven't discussed the matter with my sister. You may have, but I haven't. So, I do not know she disagrees.

      Reality is based upon FACTS and EVIDENCE, not upon how many people BELIEVE something. At one time, everyone on earth believed the earth was flat. That didn't make it flat.

      A reality check would be for someone to provide NEW and BETTER evidence to disprove the hypothesis.

      You do not even attempt to do that. You just close your eyes to the facts - on this subject and on all matters related to the anthrax attacks of 2001.

      By arguing that people don't believe the hypothesis, you just demonstrated that you have no understanding of how evidence works or how an hypothesis is proved or disproved. It is NOT done with beliefs and opinions.

      Ed

      Delete
  10. The FACTS show that if a person has argued for 10 years that a child wrote the Fall 2001 anthrax letters -- and not a single person has been persuaded -- the person has not made a persuasive case. The factual evidence available proves conclusively is that your argument is unpersuasive.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Anonymous" wrote: "The factual evidence available proves conclusively is that your argument is unpersuasive."

    SO WHAT? That DOES NOT MAKE THE HYPOTHESIS WRONG. To be wrong the hypothesis has to be PROVEN WRONG WITH FACTS AND EVIDENCE. Opinions mean nothing.

    I've never been able to get a handwriting expert to view the hypothesis and attempt to disprove it. Mostly they just have their own hypotheses, and they've stated their opinions, so they do not want to examine any hypothesis that might prove their own theory to be wrong.

    I'd like VERY MUCH to have a handwriting expert discuss my hypothesis. But THEY WANT TO BE PAID to do that. I'm not so obsessed with proving my hypothesis that I'm willing to pay someone to review it.

    If you can find someone who can DISPROVE my hypothesis with SOLID FACTS, why don't you have him do so? Why just mindlessly and ENDLESSLY argue that people do not BELIEVE the hypothesis because they have OTHER BELIEFS?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Anonymous" also wrote: "not a single person has been persuaded."

      TOTALLY FALSE. Many people have written me in private to tell me they have been persuaded by the logic. I'm just not going to give their names to you so you can harass them for not believing what you believe.

      Ed

      Delete
  12. Ed, unless arguments reach a basic threshold of credibility, people are not going to waste their time considering what you call your "hypothesis." (For much of the decade you argued it was 99% certain or nearly so -- because you are what you call a "True Believer".)

    Go ahead. Email your argument to your sister and see if she thinks it is a viable "hypothesis" -- such that it was worth arguing for 10 years when not even a single person was ever persuaded.

    I have encouraged you to press on it with it -- by telling you that you should drop it.

    The reverse psychology was dubbed OPERATION ED and it has been successful for a decade now since its launch.

    But, seriously, you should drop the argument because it demonstrates that you are not persuasive and lack common sense.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Anonymous" wrote: "But, seriously, you should drop the argument because it demonstrates that you are not persuasive and lack common sense."

    YOU ARE THE ONE WHO CONSTANTLY BRINGS IT UP. You CLAIM that I'm out there trying to persuade people, but, in reality, YOU are the one who is really out there endlessly trying to create an argument about beliefs versus facts.

    "Anonymous" also wrote: "(For much of the decade you argued it was 99% certain or nearly so -- because you are what you call a "True Believer".)"

    By your reasoning, Christopher Columbus was a "True Believer" because he felt the facts were certain enough for him to risk his life to prove that the world was round.

    Columbus was not a "True Believer." He just viewed the facts differently, and he had facts that others were ignorant of.

    "True Believers" are those like you who do not care what the facts say, they're just going to believe what they want to believe.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm going to disagree with Anonymous about the methodology of evaluating a hypothesis: though I disagree at least as much as he does about the child-printed-it notion, its implausibility isn't NECESSARILY established via endorsements or the lack thereof, either among relatives of a hypothesis-holder or in the population as a whole.

    Example:

    I regard the Oswald-was-just-a-patsy amalgam of hypotheses in the JFK assassination as being LESS plausible than the child-printed-it hypothesis in Amerithrax, yet, if polling data are to be believed, a significant portion of the population DOES think that either Oswald was innocent or that he acted as part of a conspiracy. Among the younger generation (ie those with no personal memory of the 1960s, say), that can be explained in terms of the Oliver Stone film and its disproportionate influence in interpreting/explaining the JFK assassination.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/165893/majority-believe-jfk-killed-conspiracy.aspx

    Yet, this problem reaches into the older generations as well.
    I think the MAIN reason JFK conspiracy theories will never die is: a lone gunman, particularly one as then obscure as Oswald, doesn't jibe with people's notion of how the world works. To kill a US president, this unconscious attitude avers, great forces must be afoot. Few lone gunmen can foot the bill in that regard.
    So, any group with a grudge------real or imagined--------against Kennedy will seem to better match the unconscious expectations of the individual hypothesizers.

    ReplyDelete
  15. If you disagree with me that you should drop your First Grader argument, let's get back to having you upload relevant documents. For example, if I send you the FBI handwriting report finding the lettering in the mailed anthrax letters consistent with lead hijacker Mohamed Atta, will you upload it? If I send you the civil deposition of Patricia Worsham, who shared the B3 suite at issue with Bruce Ivins, will you upload it?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about Columbus vis-a-vis the earth, except to note that what I recall learning in grade school was, at best, incomplete, and perhaps out-and-out erroneous:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth

    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/05/people-in-columbus-time-did-not-think-the-world-was-flat/

    http://www.highlightskids.com/science-questions/long-ago-why-did-they-think-earth-was-flat

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/14/christopher-columbus-3-things-you-think-he-did-that-he-didnt/

    ReplyDelete
  17. And one last thing from Mister Lake's comment of January 12th:

    "Since there's no way the Anthrax Truther and I could be in agreement,[...]"
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This, of course, is at the root of many a problem: Mister Lake ASSUMES (erroneously) that because he has labeled someone a "Truther" that AUTOMATICALLY means that that person is going to disagree with him (and vice versa). On just about every topic. In that regard I don't know how he came to such a conclusion (and this very error shows how intellectually dangerous-------for him!--------using such labels as "Truther" is).

    I EXPECT to disagree with people: people in my own section of the political spectrum, people who have the same general religious beliefs, etc. It's part of the pith and marrow of intellectual life.

    The subject matter that produced the clause in question ("Since there's no way the Anthrax Truther and I could be in agreement,") wasn't Amerithrax AT ALL, it was the general proposition, expressed first by Goya that "Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels."
    Pairs of people can subscribe fully to Goya's characterization without NECESSARILY agreeing about anything else.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Anonymous" wrote: "If you disagree with me that you should drop your First Grader argument ...."

    I think you should stop bringing up the subject every time you post here. It shows you are OBSESSED with your belief that Muslims sent the anthrax letters, and you simply cannot comprehend any facts which say otherwise.

    I'm working on a novel, and I'm trying to find out whether a couple pictures of snow on the pyramids are real or not. I'm not really interesting in repeating the same argument about the handwriting over and over and over, no matter how obsessed you are.

    Your OBSESSION with trying to get people to believe what you believe, even if you cannot explain anything or provide any FACTS has been adequately demonstrated. You do not need to constantly bring up your disagreement about the handwriting just to demonstrate that you believe in OPINIONS more than in FACTS.

    "Anonymous" also wrote: "For example, if I send you the FBI handwriting report finding the lettering in the mailed anthrax letters consistent with lead hijacker Mohamed Atta, will you upload it? If I send you the civil deposition of Patricia Worsham, who shared the B3 suite at issue with Bruce Ivins, will you upload it?"

    Can you explain what you mean by "upload it"? I've got dozens upon dozens of pdf files from the Hatfill and Stevens lawsuits on my web site, including MANY depositions. Why would you think I wouldn't upload a deposition by Patricia Worsham and provide the link? And the same for an FBI report evaluating Mohamed Atta's handwriting?

    But, if you want me to do screen captures the way you do and display the pages on my site as images, then we've got a problem. That is a DUMB and BAD way to do things. It makes the documents MEANINGLESS. Plus, it takes bandwidth, and bandwidth is how I'm billed for running my site. Also, every image shows up as a line on the web site logs, and it slows down how long it takes people to access my site.

    But mostly, I think it is STUPID to just put images on the site unless EVERY ONE of those images contains something of value that can only be see in a PICTURE. I think it is much more meaningful and far better for the reader of my web site if I just quote from the document, comment upon it, and provide a link.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  19. Let's start, Ed, by doing a global search of every sentence in your blog with the name Worsham in it so you can correct your mistakes. You are entitled to your opinion that a First Grader wrote the letters, but you are not entitled to make up facts just because you are too lazy to obtain the relevant sworn testimony. It doesn't even cost anything -- not even a postage stamp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Anonymous" wrote: "Let's start, Ed, by doing a global search of every sentence in your blog with the name Worsham in it so you can correct your mistakes."

      As usual, you make absolutely NO SENSE. Are you totally INCAPABLE of explaining what you mean?

      Why on earth would a search for the name Worsham find any errors at all?

      And you absurdly suggest that every time the name Worsham is found it will involve an error.

      That is just plain NUTS.

      Or are you trying to say in some cryptic way that you won't be supplying the Worsham deposition because I won't display meaningless pages on my site the way you do on Lew's blog?

      Ed

      Delete
    2. You will upload all the civil depositions from US v. Stevens and then you will correct the mistakes throughout your blog. You, of course, are free to maintain your theory a First Grader wrote the letters.

      Delete
    3. "Anonymous" wrote: "You will upload all the civil depositions from US v. Stevens and then you will correct the mistakes throughout your blog."

      Is that some kind of threat?

      Ed

      Delete
    4. Ed, are you feeling okay? You sometimes sound paranoid.

      After uploading or linking the Stephen Little civil deposition, you will now upload the Adamovicz and Andrews depositions and the handwriting opinion finding Mohamed Atta's handwriting consistent with the anthrax letters.

      This isn't in the nature of a threat. It is in the nature of an order.

      Like... Ed, go get me a coffee.

      Oh, and be sure to correct your mistakes. Thanks.

      Delete
    5. "Anonymous" wrote: "This isn't in the nature of a threat. It is in the nature of an order."

      Same thing. Orders are generally given by people who will apply punishment if the order is not obeyed. Military officers, police, fathers, mothers, bosses, terrorists, the mentally ill, etc. An order carries an implied threat.

      Thanks for confirming that it was a threat.

      "Anonymous" also wrote: "Oh, and be sure to correct your mistakes. "

      Sorry, but I have no clue as to what "mistakes" you are talking about.

      And, since you are incapable of explaining anything, it appears that I'm going to disobey that "order," too.

      Ed

      Delete
  20. Reading over the posts from Mr. Rowley, I see nothing in the first one that requires a response from me. It's just a statement of Mr. Rowley's belief or opinion.

    The second post is vague and unclear. I gather he is trying to argue that it wasn't the opinion of the most people around Columbus's time that the world was flat. To support that claim (if it is his claim) he provides links.

    The first link says, "During the early Middle Ages, virtually all scholars maintained the spherical viewpoint first expressed by the Ancient Greeks."

    The second and third links say basically the same thing. The fourth brings up an argument that I've never heard anyone make: "He [Columbus] didn’t prove that the Earth is round."

    Yes, SCHOLARS had been saying for thousands of years that the earth was a sphere. Among other reasons, they could see it's shadow on the moon during lunar eclipses. And they knew that the sun would shine directly down a well in Egypt while at the same exact time it would shine at an angle in Greece. But, the world was not made up of scholars. Ordinary people didn't understand that kind of reasoning.

    In Columbus's time, the VAST MAJORITY of the world's population believed the earth was flat. They knew of no reason to think otherwise.

    In his third post, Mr. Rowley says, "Mister Lake ASSUMES (erroneously) that because he has labeled someone a "Truther" that AUTOMATICALLY means that that person is going to disagree with him (and vice versa)."

    It has nothing to do with how I "label" a person. I label a person a "Truther" if he or she believes they know "the truth" regardless of what the facts say, AND if they cannot provide convincing facts and evidence to show they do indeed know the truth and that everyone who disagrees with them is wrong.

    A "Truther" is someone who BELIEVES he knows "the truth" in spite of what all the FACTS say.

    I look at the facts and generally accept what the facts say. That very often (if not always) puts me at odds with "truthers" who seem incapable of looking at the facts objectively.

    You said we agreed on the de Goya quote. I didn't see that as likely. So, I clarified how it applied to the anthrax case.

    And, as expected, you shot back a disagreement that showed you not only didn't have any facts, you didn't even understand what the word "fact" means.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The second post is vague and unclear. I gather he is trying to argue that it wasn't the opinion of the most people around Columbus's time that the world was flat. To support that claim (if it is his claim) he provides links.
      ===============================================
      No, it's not my "claim" (honestly, can't you communicate in anything but Internetese?!?), it's the view of most historians.
      Do you disagree? If so, on what basis?
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      In his third post, Mr. Rowley says, "Mister Lake ASSUMES (erroneously) that because he has labeled someone a "Truther" that AUTOMATICALLY means that that person is going to disagree with him (and vice versa)."

      It has nothing to do with how I "label" a person[...]
      ===================================
      Yes, it does. As you admit, indirectly, later in your post. For you polemics----and that's all you think communicating is about, polemics-----centers mostly on giving people labels. I've commented on this habit of yours perhaps dozens of times in the past. Any proofreader of your writings here would note the use, overuse, and misuse by you of certain labels (not infrequently with all-caps and/or boldface, just to really emphasize them) Regardless of whether the proofreader agreed with you on a particular question or not. In that respect it's not even effective polemically.
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      I label a person a "Truther" if he or she believes they know "the truth" regardless of what the facts say,
      =======================================
      Not true. On this very thread I listed 4 facts centered on critical subtasks that any Ivins-acting-alone hypothesis would have to tax Ivins with having done. Each of those facts pointed to: a total absence of evidence.
      Mister Lake (as always) had nothing meaningful to say as to why there was no evidence on those 4 subtasks. He had nothing to say about any of the 4 facts. In the past I suggested HE (Mister Lake) divvy up the Amerithrax crimes into subtasks in his own way and see whether he didn't
      see a total lack of evidence. He never took me up on that (I fear because he realized that a subtask-to-overall-scheme analysis would reveal Ivins' likely innocence).

      What Mister Lake does is: pick and choose what facts he thinks important.
      But even that in a very prejudicial/inconsistent fashion.

      Example: Mister Lake and the DoJ/Task Force attribute a motivation to Ivins that I think unlikely: career advancement via causing public fear of BW. But, regardless of its plausibility, that attribution applies AT LEAST equally well to Hatfill as it does to Ivins: Ivins was in 2001 the government-employed equivalent of a tenured professor. That level of job security. And he was in 2001 a mere two years away from receiving the highest DoD award a scientist can receive(see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Edwards_Ivins#2003_Department_of_Defense_commendation
      Hatfill was then (2001) still trying to establish himself in the BW field: he mostly had temporary gigs: USAMRIID for a couple years, then a grant at LSU (until the investigation forced LSU to fire him). (So really Hatfill had MORE reason to want government funding for BW to vastly increase: he could have caught on more easily at USAMRIID, Battelle etc.)

      So, has Mister Lake ever admitted that Hatfill might have been equally motivated? Not on your life! According to Mister Lake there was ZERO evidence (of any sort!) against Hatfill (I thought/think Hatfill innocent but this is letting polemics run away from reality!). It's all according to whose ox is being gored....

      Delete
    2. Back to Mister Lake:
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      You said we agreed on the de Goya quote. I didn't see that as likely
      ----------------------------------------------------------------
      Because of that very penchant of yours for labelling (AND drawing simplistic conclusions from your labelling) that I already alluded to!
      Thanks for the confirmation!
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labelling
      ============================================
      And, as expected, you shot back a disagreement that showed you not only didn't have any facts, you didn't even understand what the word "fact" means.
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      There are two ways to show a lack of semantic knowledge/feel: the straightforward one ('What does that mean?') and the self-deceiving one (which sometimes involves misusing/abusing/overusing lexical items).
      In the latter category you're in a class by yourself, Mister Lake!

      Delete
  21. R. Rowley wrote: "No, it's not my "claim" (honestly, can't you communicate in anything but Internetese?!?), it's the view of most historians.
    Do you disagree? If so, on what basis?"


    No, the view of "most historians" is that in the middle ages MOST SCHOLARS believed the world was round or spherical.

    They only know that from WRITINGS. The WRITINGS we have are from SCHOLARS. They didn't take any SURVEYS in the middle ages about the thoughts of the "average man."

    Why would the average man think that the world was spherical? How could that possibly make sense to him?

    But, you've changed the argument. The claim was: "At one time, nearly everyone on earth thought the earth was flat. That did not make it flat."

    You chose to bring Columbus and the time of Columbus into the argument.

    If somehow it can be PROVEN that during the time of Columbus, "the average person thought the world was spherical," then we simply need to go back further to a point where the average person did NOT believe that.

    Instead of referencing Wikipedia's article on "The Myth of Flat Earth," click HERE to view Wikipedia's article on "Flat Earth." It contains references showing that the earth was believed to be flat in the ancient Middle East, in ancient India, in ancient China and in ancient Japan. It was believed to be flat by the ancient Norsemen and Germanic Tribes. It was assumed to be flat by poets and historians.

    So, the CLAIM is still true. "At one time, nearly everyone on earth thought the earth was flat. That did not make it flat." You just have to go further back than just to Columbus's time. And, you also need MORE DATA to argue that the AVERAGE person in Columbus's time believed the earth was spherical.

    The point is: The number of people who believe in something does not decide if it is true or not.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "In the past I suggested HE (Mister Lake) divvy up the Amerithrax crimes into subtasks in his own way and see whether he didn't
    see a total lack of evidence. He never took me up on that (I fear because he realized that a subtask-to-overall-scheme analysis would reveal Ivins' likely innocence)."


    Are you unaware that I wrote a book about how Ivins did everything? I also have a web site where I explain IN DETAIL how the facts show WHEN, WHERE and HOW Ivins made the anthrax powders.

    And I've explained to you that you do not need home movies of Ivins putting the envelopes in the mailbox in Princeton to convince a jury that he did so. If you show them ALL THE EVIDENCE pointing to Ivins as the anthrax killer, and if you show Ivins had NO ALIBI for the time of the mailings, then the jury could and would CONCLUDE that Ivins had the OPPORTUNITY to drive to New Jersey to mail the letters. Driving long distances to commit crimes was his MODUS OPERANDI.

    This statement from Mr. Rowley shows his inability to look at all the facts: "Example: Mister Lake and the DoJ/Task Force attribute a motivation to Ivins that I think unlikely: career advancement via causing public fear of BW. But, regardless of its plausibility, that attribution applies AT LEAST equally well to Hatfill as it does to Ivins"

    OTHER EVIDENCE SAYS IVINS WAS GUILTY.
    OTHER EVIDENCE SAYS HATFILL WAS INNOCENT.

    YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT ALL THE EVIDENCE TOGETHER, NOT AT ANY SINGLE ITEM OF EVIDENCE.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  22. I had to take a break to write a comment for my web site. So, now it's back to Mr. Rowley's mostly incoherent blather. He wrote that I wrote:

    "I label a person a "Truther" if he or she believes they know "the truth" regardless of what the facts say,"

    And then he replied:

    "Not true. On this very thread I listed 4 facts centered on critical subtasks that any Ivins-acting-alone hypothesis would have to tax Ivins with having done. Each of those facts pointed to: a total absence of evidence."

    He ignores the fact that I stated his "4 facts" were NOT facts. They are just his BELIEFS.

    For example, it is NOT a "fact" that there is "no proof Ivins was in New Jersey in Sept-Oct of 2001."

    There IS proof. It is not the kind of proof Mr. Rowley demands, but it is the kind of proof that is totally acceptable in court. As I explained, the PROOF consists of ALL THE EVIDENCE VIEWED TOGETHER. When that is done, it becomes clear that Ivins MUST have driven to New Jersey to mail the letters.

    Since he's a "Truther," however, he clearly believes he knows "the truth," and that "truth" is not what I or the Department of Justice say it is. It's what he BELIEVES the "truth" to be.

    Mr. Rowley believes he knows the "truth," and that "truth" is that a criminal mastermind was behind the anthrax mailings.

    "Anonymous" also believes he knows the "truth," and, for him, the "truth" is that Muslims were behind the anthrax mailings.

    And they BOTH believe the FBI and the Department of Justice are wrong.

    When viewing their common beliefs and discussing their common arguments, it is more convenient to describe them as "Truthers," rather that attempt to mention each individually. What applies to those two "Truthers" generally applies to the "Truthers" who have other theories about who was behind the anthrax mailings.

    I think it is better to debunk their GENERAL thought processes, rather than try to do it individual by individual. It's more MEANINGFUL that way. It's more EDUCATIONAL. It becomes about the PSYCHOLOGY OF TRUTHERS in general, rather than the psychology of one specific Truther.

    I find the GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY of Truthers to be fascinating. I find the psychology of individual Truthers to be beyond the scope of this blog and of no particular interest to me.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  23. Howdy guys...it's been a few years since I paid any attention to the anthrax case. I pretty much lost interest after the FBI closed the case. Anyway, the code supposedly in the letters caught my attention. I never read about it before. A smoking gun! Wow!

    The hypothetical message, after decoding, is 3 letters: P A T. There are some problems with this as a "smoking gun proof":

    1. With only 3 letters, the message can't be self validating. It doesn't matter what the 3 letters are, there's just no way they can unambiguously indicate that there's a message.

    2. If we *assume* that there's a 3 letter message in the letter, and P A T is the correct decoding of the assumed 3 letter message....how are we to interpret this 3 letter message? Obviously there are an infinite number of interpretations, but there's only one that might help solve the case, and that's if the 3 letters are the initials of the anthrax mailer.

    3. Rather than assuming that the supposed 3 letter message is the initials of the anthrax mailer, Ed considers whether *any* possible interpretation of P A T can be linked to Bruce Ivans. Not surprisingly, the answer is yes.

    4. This is the absolute lowest grade of evidence, since with all possible interpretations available, any 3 letters picked at random can be linked to Bruce Ivans (or anyone else). If you have any doubt about this, the proof is that there's an "alternate decoding" of F N Y, which - surprise - can also be linked to Bruce Ivans. Perhaps to avoid the damning implications of this, Ed suggests that both decodings may be correct at the same time! (Hey, why not, we are assuming so much crap already).

    This is beyond ridiculous...not only is it not "smoking gun" evidence, it's completely worthless. It's a dry hole.

    But it's fun to speculate, right? And why did Bruce Ivans throw away his copy of Godel, Escher, Bach? Whatever the reason was, it wasn't to protect the deep dark secret of P A T (or F N Y, or both!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. * Why did FBI Agent Darin Steele think that the “T” in NEXT was double-lined in concocting his interpretation of a code?

      Posted on June 17, 2011
      http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/why-did-fbi-agent-darin-steele-think-that-the-t-in-next-was-double-lined-in-concocting-his-interpretation-of-a-code/

      There is no handwriting forensic examination that supports the code -- no report finding that the "T" in NEXT is doublelined.

      Instead, the FBI's handwriting expert concluded that Bruce Ivins probably did not write the letters and that instead the handwriting was consistent with lead hijacker Mohamed Atta.

      Delete
    2. "Anonymous" wrote: "instead the handwriting was consistent with lead hijacker Mohamed Atta."

      The problem with handwriting analysis is: It's all OPINION. Finding an "expert" who thinks the handwriting is "consistent" with Mohamed Atta's handwriting doesn't mean it IS Mohamed Atta's handwriting.

      And where is this report? How do we know you aren't distorting the facts as you usually do?

      I've compared Mohamed Atta's handwriting to the handwriting on the anthrax documents and it seems UNDENIABLY CLEAR that the handwriting is NOT Mohamed Atta's handwriting. Click HERE for my analysis.

      I'd like to see what this so-called "FBI's handwriting expert" says, and what he or she shows as evidence.

      Ed

      Delete
  24. Max wrote: "Ed considers whether *any* possible interpretation of P A T can be linked to Bruce Ivans. Not surprisingly, the answer is yes."

    Actually, however, that's not MY interpretation. It's the interpretation of the FBI and DOJ. See page 60 of the Amerithrax Investigation Summary.

    You also view the evidence incorrectly. Bruce Ivins was already the FBI's prime suspect for nearly two years before they did the search of his home on November 1, 2007. Then, because criminals often throw away evidence that wasn't found during such a search, they watched Ivins garbage for the next few weeks.

    A week after the search, Ivins threw away his copy of "Godel, Escher, Bach." The FBI dug it out of his trash. They also dug out a science magazine that Ivins threw away which contained an article on "The Linguistics of DNA."

    "Godel, Escher, Bach" shows the explanation for the highlighted characters in the first anthrax letters. The magazine article shows how DNA can be used as a code.

    Using that information, the FBI then tried to decipher the highlighted characters in the letter. The code required knowledge of DNA and of codons. Ivins had such knowledge. The decoded messages were "PAT" and "FNY." The jury would know from other evidence that Ivins was obsessed with his two co-workers, and they would see that those decoded "messages" appear to relate to his two co-workers.

    You may think this is all "the lowest grade of evidence," but the jury would see that it fits with Ivins' personality and past criminal actions. So, it would be "smoking gun" evidence in court.

    Which means we disagree. You have your view point (which is shared by other naysayers), and I have mine (which is generally shared by the FBI and DOJ).

    Too bad there isn't any way to PROVE who is right and who is wrong.

    But, welcome to the debate.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  25. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoking_gun

    "The term "smoking gun" was originally, and is still primarily, a reference to an object or fact that serves as conclusive evidence of a crime or similar act."

    This is not remotely smoking gun evidence.

    I would go further and say that this 'evidence' would never appear in court. The FBI would not even try to introduce it, because it's worthless.

    I don't blame the FBI for trying to find some meaning in Bruce Ivans in throwing away a book and magazine. He was their suspect (or person of interest, or whatever term you like), and they had the manpower to turn over every stone. But they failed. If there was something incriminating in what Ivans threw away, the FBI didn't find it.

    A jury's job is to decide guilt, not to try to creatively twist everything into evidence of guilt (nor is that the job of the prosecutor, if he has any ethics). Your statement that PAT and FNY (both!!!!) "appear" to relate to Bruce Ivans is exactly such a twisting. There is no such appearance. If Bruce Ivans's initials were P.A.T., then we could have an interesting debate about whether it's an authentic message. But as it is, there's nothing there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Max wrote: "This is not remotely smoking gun evidence."

      Yes, I understand that is your OPINION. My opinion is different.

      I have no interest in arguing opinion against opinion. It's just a waste of time. You're entitled to your opinion. I'm entitled to mine. And, my opinion is that the "smoking gun" evidence would help convince ANY reasonably intelligent jury that Ivins was the anthrax killer.

      Ed

      Delete
    2. Max wrote: "A jury's job is to decide guilt, not to try to creatively twist everything into evidence of guilt (nor is that the job of the prosecutor, if he has any ethics)."

      The prosecutor doesn't "twist" things to make them seem like evidence of guilt. He PRESENTS the evidence to the jury AND EXPLAINS HOW the items of evidence when assembled together PROVE guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

      A jury's job is to hear ALL the evidence and then to decide if the evidence is sufficient enough for them to conclude that it proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

      They don't "creatively twist" anything. But, they DO draw conclusions. THEIR JOB IS TO DRAW CONCLUSIONS.

      If there was no snow on the ground the evening before a crime, and the next morning there is snow on the ground, a jury CAN draw the conclusion that it showed during that night. They do not need to have home movies or eyewitness testimony of it snowing.

      Likewise, if "Godel, Escher, Bach" was one of Bruce Ivins favorite books, and if the book contains a coding method that is an almost PERFECT STEP BY STEP explanation for the highlighted A's and T's in the media letter, the jury CAN conclude that idea for the code may have (or did) come from the book.

      If it is common for criminals to destroy evidence that was not found by authorities in a search of their home, and if Ivins was observed throwing away the code books, a jury CAN conclude that the reason he threw away one of his favorite books is because there is something incriminating in it.

      If the testimony of witnesses shows that Ivins was obsessed with his two co-workers, and if one of his co-workers is named "Pat," and the other is known to have a love for New York City while Ivins is known to have a hatred for New York City, a jury CAN conclude that the decoded messages "PAT" and "FNY" mean what the prosecutor says they mean.

      The defense lawyers can argue that throwing away a book is not a criminal act, and that it's just a coincidence that Ivins threw it away after the search, and that there could be other unknown explanations for the highlighted characters in the media letter, and that it's just another coincidence that one of Ivins' co-workers was named "Pat." The jury will hear the defense lawyer's arguments and the jury will decide who to believe.

      When the defense says all the hundreds of its of evidence are just coincidences, a typical juror BELIEVES that there is a limit to how many coincidences there can be before it becomes a certainty that they are NOT coincidences. And the jury CAN conclude that they are NOT coincidences.

      Combined with all the evidence about Ivins STEALING code books from the KKG sorority, the evidence of his fascination with codes, the fact that he used different kinds of hidden messages in things he drove hundreds of miles to deliver, etc., etc., etc., a jury could and probably WOULD conclude that Ivins was GUILTY of the anthrax mailings of 2001 beyond any reasonable doubt.

      But, that's just my opinion.

      Ed

      Delete
    3. Do you disagree with the definition of "smoking gun" I quoted? Do you agree that you were misusing the term?

      "If the testimony of witnesses shows that Ivins was obsessed with his two co-workers, and if one of his co-workers is named "Pat," and the other is known to have a love for New York City while Ivins is known to have a hatred for New York City, a jury CAN conclude that the decoded messages "PAT" and "FNY" mean what the prosecutor says they mean."

      There's no coincidence involved, you're just seeing meaning where there is no meaning. There is no message (or if there is, the FBI didn't find it).

      If you want to claim that 3 letters can form a meaningful message, you have to start with a reasonable theory of what a meaningful 3 letter message would be. Not start with the "message" and work back to Bruce Ivans, because that proves nothing other than there are many possible interpretations of 3 random letters.

      Again, I have no problem with what the FBI did. When you're desperate you try everything. But they didn't find anything.

      Delete
    4. Max wrote"Do you disagree with the definition of "smoking gun" I quoted?"

      No.

      "Do you agree that you were misusing the term?"

      No.

      Max also wrote: "you're just seeing meaning where there is no meaning."

      Or, you are not seeing meaning where there IS meaning.

      And: "If you want to claim that 3 letters can form a meaningful message, you have to start with a reasonable theory of what a meaningful 3 letter message would be. "

      That may be true on some fantasy world. But, in the real world we live in, when a piece of potential evidence is found, you do not view that item of evidence as if it stands alone in the world. You see how it fits with all the other evidence in the the case you're trying to solve. "Pat" refers to Pat Fellows until someone can prove otherwise.

      When all the evidence is viewed together, it is a TOTALLY "reasonable theory" that the letters "PAT" refer to Pat Fellows and the letters "FNY" relate to Mara Linscott.

      You may disagree and have a different way of viewing things, but that is the way the courts and the Department of Justice view things. So, that is the way the evidence would be presented in court.

      If you think it is wrong, then you should write your congressman and try to get him to change the way circumstantial evidence has been used in courts for hundreds of years.

      Ed

      Delete
    5. "When all the evidence is viewed together, it is a TOTALLY "reasonable theory" that the letters "PAT" refer to Pat Fellows and the letters "FNY" relate to Mara Linscott."

      That is not a theory (not even an unreasonable theory) for what a meaningful 3 letter message would be. All you are proving is that any random 3 letters can be linked to Bruce Ivans, because 3 letters can mean anything. Which means, there is no message. The FBI didn't find anything.

      Delete
    6. Max wrote: "That is not a theory (not even an unreasonable theory) for what a meaningful 3 letter message would be."

      You've made it clear that you have an unshakable OPINION on this subject. But, you also seem to be saying that you BELIEVE that, if Ivins had put a coded message in the media letter, it would have been something like his own initials. And, if it is anything other than his own initials, then it's not something you can accept or believe.

      Do you feel you understand the world so well that you can state with absolute certainty how Ivins would have done things?

      You seem to be arguing that it's just a coincidence that the two decoded messages both relate to Ivins' female co-workers.

      The steps the FBI went through to decode the hidden message in the media letter are complex, but they follow the BASIC CODING PROCESS laid out in "Godel, Escher, Bach" step by step.

      "Godel, Escher, Bach" UNDENIABLY contains a coding method just like what is seen in the media letters.

      None of this is changed by some BELIEF you may have that Ivins would have done things the way YOU BELIEVE he would have done things. Sometimes people do things in unexpected ways. And, from the DOJ' and FBI's and my point of view, it is perfectly LOGICAL for Ivins to have encoded "PAT" and "FNY" into the media letter.

      Ivins initials would be BEI. There is no DNA single letter designator "B." So, Ivins would have had to use a totally different coding method to create the initials BEI. HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO USE DIFFERENT CODE BOOKS.

      Do you think Ivins would have puttered around until he found a way to encode BEI? Why? Because it's what you believe, and everything MUST be done the way you believe?

      What the FBI found is perfectly logical.
      What you believe Ivins COULD ONLY have done is illogical.

      Ed

      Delete
    7. "You've made it clear that you have an unshakable OPINION on this subject. But, you also seem to be saying that you BELIEVE that, if Ivins had put a coded message in the media letter, it would have been something like his own initials. And, if it is anything other than his own initials, then it's not something you can accept or believe."

      No, and this shows you haven't understood what I've been saying. I don't think initials are a likely message. Not at all. More likely, any message would be something that only has meaning to the mailer - like the unabomber's cryptic "FC" signature.

      So why do we need to assume that the message is his initials, if it's not likely? Because if you assume nothing, then 3 letters gives you no information at all. You have no way to validate all the guesswork needed to "decode" the letter (including the guess that there's something to decode in the first place).

      "You seem to be arguing that it's just a coincidence that the two decoded messages both relate to Ivins' female co-workers."

      There's no coincidence involved. Any 3 letters can be linked to Bruce Ivans, because 3 letters can mean anything.

      "And, from the DOJ' and FBI's and my point of view, it is perfectly LOGICAL for Ivins to have encoded "PAT" and "FNY" into the media letter."

      This is far fetched even if we knew that Bruce Ivans was the anthrax mailer and we knew that there was a message in the letters. And of course, we don't know either of those things - we're trying to use this alleged evidence to decide them.

      But whatever. It doesn't matter whether it's logical or not. I'm interested in one thing only: can you prove that "PAT" is a message, and not 3 random letters?

      "Ivins initials would be BEI. There is no DNA single letter designator "B." So, Ivins would have had to use a totally different coding method to create the initials BEI. HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO USE DIFFERENT CODE BOOKS."

      Well, I have to say it's a pretty crappy "code" you're assuming is being used, if it can't express thoughts that involve the letter "B"! It's a commonly used letter, you know.

      Delete
    8. Max wrote: "More likely, any message would be something that only has meaning to the mailer

      "More likely" to whom? To you?

      You're taking things out of context. The code was NOT BROKEN until the code books were found. Until then, the code only had meaning to the anthrax mailer. And that is your requirement.

      Max also wrote: "I'm interested in one thing only: can you prove that "PAT" is a message, and not 3 random letters?"

      The decoding process ends up with "PAT." Why would those be just three random letters? Why wouldn't they have meaning to the author of the letter and the coder? No one can PROVE what was in Bruce Ivins mind when he created the code that ended up with "PAT" as the message, but it seems very likely it refers to the co-worker with whom he was obsessed. What else would be more logical?

      Max also wrote: "Well, I have to say it's a pretty crappy "code" you're assuming is being used, if it can't express thoughts that involve the letter "B"! It's a commonly used letter, you know."

      Yes, I know B is a commonly used letter. But, it's NOT one of the single character designators used to designate amino acids. Click HERE for the list. The list doesn't include J, O, U, X or Z, either.

      The facts say that Ivins had to do through a lot of machinations to get a coded message that perfectly fits the coding technique described in "Godel, Escher, Bach" and that science magazine.

      If he had wanted the decoded message to be "JUZ BOX" to relate to one of his favorite drinks, he would definitely have to had used a different coding method. :-)

      Ed

      Delete
    9. "The decoding process ends up with "PAT." Why would those be just three random letters?"

      Because you can't assume that all the guesswork that went into the "decoding" (including the guess that there's something to decode in the first place) is valid.

      Ever heard the phrase: garbage in, garbage out?

      You can't assume the thing you need to prove - that there's a message. With only 3 letters, the message itself can't tell you whether there's a message - unless, perhaps, it's initials (this is why I mentioned initials...not because I think that initials are a likely message).

      Delete
    10. Max wrote: "You can't assume the thing you need to prove - that there's a message.

      No one did that. You are just ASSUMING they did.

      They wanted to know why Ivins threw out a copy of one of his favorite books.

      They read through the book carefully looking for some reason.

      On page 404 the FBI agent saw an illustration of a way to put a coded message within another message. That illustration appeared to be similar to the way the media anthrax letter looked.

      We don't know exactly what the steps were, but it took a LOT of decoding work before the end result was found to be "PAT." The idea that he started with that is ridiculous.

      "With only 3 letters, the message itself can't tell you whether there's a message"

      You are just showing you IGNORANCE of how COMPLEX the code is.

      First of all, it is part of the code that the message has a "Frame." The first and last letters of the first and last sentences are highlighted. In "Godel, Escher, Bach" this is explained a the "frame" of the message.

      Secondly, all the sentences in the letter consist of three words. This is an indicator (according to Godel, Escher, Bach) that the number 3 is significant.

      There were NINE letters in the coded message: TTTAATTAT

      DNA coding consists of only T's A's C's and G's.

      It was noticed by the FBI agent (who was a microbiologist) that if the nine letters are broke into THREE groups of THREE letters, the result is TTT AAT TAT

      Then, because the FBI agent was a microbiologist, he saw that all three of those three letter groups are CODONS. The 1992 issue of American Scientist Journal which Dr. Ivins attempted to throw away on November 8, 2007, contained an article by David Searls entitled “The Linguistics of DNA” which discussed, among other things, codons and hidden messages.

      Those three letter sequences can be decoded in two ways:

      TTT = Phenylalanine (single-letter designator F)
      AAT = Asparagine (single-letter designator N)
      TAT = Tyrosine (single-letter designator Y)

      One way you get "PAT" and the other way you get "FNY."

      No one did any assuming. They went though a VERY complex coding system to get the answer.

      You may not believe the answer, but no one cares if you believe it or not.

      Ed

      Delete
    11. All you are doing is describing the steps by which the FBI tried (and failed) to find some meaning in Ivans throwing away a book. It's a lead which didn't pan out. The FBI found nothing. There is no message.

      PAT is not a message.
      FNY is not a message.

      If you want to claim otherwise, then you need to show that you expected to find PAT before the "decoding". Of course, nobody did.

      Delete
    12. Max,

      All you are saying is that you are going to believe what you want to believe, regardless of what the facts say. So, we have no basis for any kind of intelligent discussion.

      And this sentence makes NO SENSE whatsoever: "If you want to claim otherwise, then you need to show that you expected to find PAT before the "decoding"."

      You seem to be saying that you have to KNOW the solution to a problem before you can successfully look for the solution.

      That makes sense to you?

      Ed

      Delete
  26. Ed,

    Upload or link the Stephen Little civil deposition now.

    And be sure to go back and correct your mistakes so that there are not so many misstatements on the subsidiary issues of fact.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "Anonymous" wrote: "Upload or link the Stephen Little civil deposition now."

    I'm not very good at taking orders. Sorry.

    I don't have time to do that right now. I first need to finish reading the Patricia Worsham deposition and to write a comment for my site on how it is meaningless. It's just her opinion which is largely based upon ABYSMAL and apparently WILLFUL IGNORANCE of the evidence against Bruce Ivins.

    Why don't you provide the Stephen Little link here instead of making me hunt for it?

    The link to the Stephen Little deposition is: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7s6uzlzwca6htcs/LittleDeposition.pdf

    It apparently has to be downloaded. It cannot be viewed on-line. And, the first page is upside down.

    I'll probably write a comment about it for my web site after I've read it. I imagine it contains the same kind of ignorant, uninformed nonsense.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And next upload or link the Gerard Andrews deposition. And be sure to go back and correct your mistakes so that there are not so many misstatements on the subsidiary issues of fact. Thanks.

      Delete
    2. "Anonymous" wrote: " And be sure to go back and correct your mistakes so that there are not so many misstatements on the subsidiary issues of fact. "

      As I've previously told you many times, if you see mistakes you believe I've made, explain what the mistakes are and explain your reasoning for believing they are mistakes.

      Otherwise, I'm just going to assume you don't know what you are talking about.

      Ed

      Delete
  28. "Unfortunately, "Anonymous" seems to be totally incapable of explaining his reasoning or much of anything about his beliefs and theories. "

    Ed, I explain things over on Lew's blog. On your blog, you only selectively let posts go through. So it's a waste of time posting. Besides, it's documents and the opinion of experts and fact witnesses that I'm interested in. I'm not interested in the opinion of the lay person who thinks a First Grader wrote the letters and hasn't gotten a single person to agree with him. You don't even bother to obtain the opinions of experts, let alone obtain admissible documents through FOIA.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "Anonymous" wrote: "I explain things over on Lew's blog."

    No, you do NOT. Mostly, you just post images and make meaningless comments and claims. You explain NOTHING.

    "You don't even bother to obtain the opinions of experts, let alone obtain admissible documents through FOIA."

    Not true, of course. I occasionally do get "opinions" from experts when I want to make sure my interpretation of the FACTS is correct. But, mostly I get FACTS from experts, since opinions are generally worthless -- as is seen in the Patricia Worsham deposition.

    And, I've sent in FOIA requests when I've seen a need to do so. You seem to have an obsession with finding "proof" to verify your beliefs. But, you never find any such proof, and that is why you must endlessly send in FOIA requests.

    I don't have any such obsession.

    If you are not interested in my opinion, why do you constantly post here? Just to argue that you do not believe the FACTS about who wrote the anthrax letters, and that you prefer to rely on beliefs and opinions?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  30. "Anonymous,"

    I just noticed that you did not include pdf page 10 of the Stephen Little Deposition in the file you created. That pdf page contains deposition pages 34 to 37.

    Why is that? Does it contain something you do not want people to see?

    It appears to be the section where Little discusses the time of the attacks, which would probably be the most interesting section.

    Or did you just fail to notice that you left out the most important page?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ed, Hi. I'll find page 10, scan it and forward it in a few minutes. Dr. Velsko pointed out I had omitted page 7 of the Worsham and I promptly forwarded it. You need to relate professionally with people. For example, your "yada, yada, yada" and selectively omitting things pointing out mistakes is juvenile. I haven't looked at the Little depo in weeks -- and didn't check after feeding it to be scanned. But thanks for noticing.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Anonymous" wrote: " For example, your "yada, yada, yada" and selectively omitting things pointing out mistakes is juvenile."

    Pointing out mistakes is juvenile? Since when?

    Is that why you won't explain what mistakes you believe I have on my web site? Because you believe it is "juvenile" to point out and explain the mistakes you CLAIM are there?

    Isn't it more "juvenile" to say there are mistakes and NOT explain what the mistakes are? That's not only "juvenile," it's CHILDISH.

    Or are you referring to me pointing out YOUR mistakes? How is that juvenile? Which mistakes? Where are the mistakes? How is pointing out mistakes juvenile? It would seem to be the OPPOSITE of "juvenile".

    And what did I selectively omit?

    "Yada, yada, yada" is just a way of saying that something is blah, blah, blah, yakety yakety yakety yack, i.e., meaningless, irrelevant rantings like what you have written countless times in the past without accomplishing or clarifying anything.

    Can't you make yourself clear about ANYTHING?

    Ed

    P.S. I received page 10 of the Little Depo and page 7 of the Worsham depo. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote that it was juvenile to refuse to post items showing your factual mistakes.

      You simply don't post the links and in refusing to you say "yada yada yada."

      You have mischaracterized what I said. You falsely claim that I said pointing out mistakes was juvenile.

      To the contrary, I said your failure to post comments pointing out your mistakes was juvenile. And I said relatedly that you do not relate to people in a professional manner.

      In failing to post the links to the evidence provided, you misrepresent the other person's argument and prevent the relevant contemporaneous documentary evidence from being addressed.

      In particular, for example, you do not link the contemporaneous documents showing that Dr. Ivins had reason to be in the lab to work on Mr. Little's rabbit formaldhyde experiment. The documents are addressed on Lew's blog given that you routinely failure to link and address them.

      Please correct your mistake and false mischaracterization. And please link the contemporaneous documents. It is clear you have no mastery of them.

      Thanks.

      Remember: It is the documentary evidence is what is important. You are free to keep your opinion that a First Grader wrote the letters but please always link the contemporary documentary evidence when it is provided to you. I don't converse with you because I find you unpleasant. I know dozens of people who disagree about Amerithrax with each other and yet you are the rare one who is unpleasant toward others. Life is far too short to be ungracious.

      Delete
    2. "Anonymous" wrote: "I wrote that it was juvenile to refuse to post items showing your factual mistakes."

      And I wrote that I am unaware of any mistakes that I haven't corrected. You CLAIM I have made mistakes, but you won't list the "mistakes" and explain why they are mistakes.

      "Anonymous" also wrote: "In failing to post the links to the evidence provided, you misrepresent the other person's argument and prevent the relevant contemporaneous documentary evidence from being addressed."

      Links mean NOTHING unless you EXPLAIN what they mean.You post MEANINGLESS LINKS and argue that MEANINGLESS documents are explanations. They are NOT explanations.

      "Anonymous" also wrote: ""Please correct your mistake and false mischaracterization. And please link the contemporaneous documents. It is clear you have no mastery of them."

      What mistake? I have rephrased the comment on my web site.

      I'm certainly NOT going to provide links to any "contemporaneous documents" without providing a good reason for the links. And, since you cannot provide any explanation for why the documents mean anything, they will not be linked here.

      If you want to post meaningless documents without explanation, Lew Weinstein's blog is the place to do that.

      THIS BLOG IS FOR DISCUSSIONS, it's not for posting meaningless documents and meaningless links. PLEASE GIVE THEM MEANING VIA EXPLANATIONS SO THEY CAN BE DISCUSSED.

      I'm sorry that you consider me to be "unpleasant," but I have little patience for people who work only with beliefs and opinions and seem totally incapable of discussing facts or evidence. (Posting meaningless documents is NOT "discussing facts or evidence.")

      Feel free to continue to post your meaningless documents to Lew's blog.

      Ed

      Delete
  33. "Anonymous" sent me an email that said: "it is quite amazing you don't recognize the importance of the deposition of the scientist, consulting with the FBI, who shared the B3 suite"

    If it's so important, why don't you EXPLAIN HOW it is so important?

    I see NOTHING of importance in it. It's just opinions and beliefs based mostly on ignorance of the case against Bruce Ivins.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  34. "If it's so important, why don't you EXPLAIN HOW it is so important?"

    Why would anyone converse more than absolutely necessary with someone who thinks a First Grader wrote the letters -- and after 10 years hasn't succeeded in persuading a single person?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Anonymous" wrote: "Why would anyone converse more than absolutely necessary with someone who thinks ...."

      So, are you saying that explanations are BENEATH you? You cannot be reduced from your lofty True Believer status to the lowly task of explaining things to non-believers?

      "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. ... Albert Einstein

      "You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother." -- Albert Einstein

      If you cannot explain it, then you obviously do not even understand what it is you are saying. And you probably refuse to explain because you know your beliefs can be easily proved to be total nonsense.

      Ed

      Delete
    2. Also,

      "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." --- Albert Einstein

      Ed

      Delete
  35. I repeatedly have posted the links the to rabbit documents -- and it was Mr. Little's experiment -- and Ed has refused to post them. I most recently have posted them again at Lew's website (under the thread announcing the deposition has been uploaded) given that Ed has refused to link those links on his First Grader-wrote-the-letters website. Ed needed to take an evidence-based approach to such questions and obtain and link the relevant documents. Instead, he routinely results in his usual schtick rather than linking the rabbit formaldehyde documents and discussing them. Mr. Little is available to answer any of your questions but the documents speak for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Anonymous" wrote: "I repeatedly have posted the links the to rabbit documents -- and it was Mr. Little's experiment -- and Ed has refused to post them."

      What would be the purpose? This isn't a blog for posting meaningless crap. You post meaningless crap to Lew Weinstein's blog.

      Here is what it says at the top of this blog:
      "The Purpose of this blog is to allow people to intelligently debate the comments I make on my web site at www.anthraxinvestigation.com."

      Can't you understand that, either?

      This blog is for INTELLIGENT DISCUSSIONS, not for posting meaningless crap without explanation as you do on Lew's blog.

      Ed

      Delete
    2. When was the last time there was an intelligent discussion OF ANY KIND on Lew Weinstein's blog?

      Lew's blog consists almost entirely of an endless stream of meaningless crap presented by DXer without explanation of its relevance to anything. And how many responses have there been in the past 3 months? A half dozen? Less?

      Has there been ANYTHING that could be considered to be a "discussion"? Mostly all I see are ata-boys from Lew.

      Ed

      Delete
  36. I note upthread the post by Max:
    ---------------
    "When all the evidence is viewed together, it is a TOTALLY "reasonable theory" that the letters "PAT" refer to Pat Fellows and the letters "FNY" relate to Mara Linscott."

    That is not a theory (not even an unreasonable theory) for what a meaningful 3 letter message would be. All you are proving is that any random 3 letters can be linked to Bruce Ivans, because 3 letters can mean anything. Which means, there is no message. The FBI didn't find anything.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Specifically of interest is the sentence: "All you are proving is that any random 3 letters can be linked to Bruce Ivans, because 3 letters can mean anything. "
    That sentence, that insight reminds me of a satire I once wrote but never posted here. With Mister Lake's permission I will do that.


    Time: June 2009. A Monday.
    Place: Washington DC

    The Task Force and DoJ prosecutors are meeting again.

    Chairman Monstrouse: It looks like everyone is here so we should get underway.
    First, I'd like our subcommittee on the 'amino acid code' to listen to the minutes from Friday's session. US attorney Butter Leavitt took the minutes. Butter?

    Leavitt: Essentially, on Friday we tried all sorts of breakouts for co-solution PAT, so that they would connect with Bruce Ivins. Apparently he had no ancestors in the 19th or 20th Centuries who had "Pat" as a name or nickname. So, we tried to see whether he was a fan of either Pat Sajak or the New England Patriots. But none of those 30 terabytes of USAMRIID emails we had obtained indicated any such thing. So, since we KNOW Ivins wrote the code, it's just a matter of decrypting those three letters. We took nominations for most likely breakout for
    PAT. There were three nominees: Pat Wilson, Ivins' piano teacher back in Lebanon; Pat Worsham, who was Ivins' boss in the anthrax section of the Bacteriology Division; and Pat Fellows who was a USAMRIID colleague. We then had a runoff and the piano teacher was eliminated.......

    Monstrouse: Excellent, so we are narrowing it down on the PAT front. Today we need to make the same type of progress with FNY. Any suggestions? Nominations?

    Darling Seal: Allow me to propose: FNY: Frankly Nerdy Yankee. Since Ivins was indeed a Yankee as he hailed from Ohio, and was, by all accounts, a science nerd since childhood, this would seem to fit him to a tee.

    Monstrouse: Excellent. Got that, Butter?

    Leavitt: Got it!

    ReplyDelete
  37. (Part 2 of 2)

    Spence Sleasy: How about "Fairly Neurotic, ya'll!"

    Monstrouse: Good work, Vince. Ivins was certainly neurotic, and what with Maryland being a southern border state we could picture Ivins using a southern expression like "ya'll".

    Monstrouse: But-

    Leavitt: Got it!

    Monstrouse: So, keep thinking on that for our next meeting.......

    Leavitt: This decryption business is fun!

    Sleasy: I'll say!

    Monstrouse: We next go to the question of Ivins' mental state and how we are going to write that up in our investigative summary. For openers, let's hear from our forensic psychiatrist, Doctor Palmoff......

    Doctor Palmoff: (thick Viennese accent) Allow mee to suggest zat wee zeem to be overlookink zat ze patient, zough crazy as a bedbuk, had ze classic Oedipal Complex......

    Monstrouse: You mean him and his MOTHER?

    Doctor Palmoff: Noht ekzactly. He resented his fater und lackt ze respekt zat sons usually haf for ze fatti.......

    Monstrouse: So....?

    Palmoff: Zo, dis lak of respekt, it cause him to go cuckoo, so hee decides to risk his career, his freedom, his laif, even, in order to punish ze Fatti.

    Monstrouse: And he punishes the fatti, I mean father, by sending anthrax to total strangers?

    Palmoff: Yes, off Kourse!

    Monstrouse: As long as you sign off on it, it's modern medicine at its finest!

    ReplyDelete
  38. R. Rowley wrote: "That is not a theory (not even an unreasonable theory) for what a meaningful 3 letter message would be. All you are proving is that any random 3 letters can be linked to Bruce Ivans, because 3 letters can mean anything."

    No, what YOU are proving is that you do not understand what happened. You are making stuff up that has nothing to do with reality.

    Here's what happened:

    Initially, Muslim terrorists were assumed to be behind the attacks.

    But, then it was discovered that the strain used was the Ames strain, which had a very limited distribution. It was restricted mostly to work at USAMRIID.

    When it was realized that the strain was an American TEST strain, the conspiracy theorists started pointing at Right Winger Steven Hatfill as being the most likely culprit.

    But, Hatfill never worked with anthrax and didn't have any known access to the Ames strain.

    So, the FBI had to check out EVERYONE with access to the Ames strain.

    Then they discovered that there were "morphs" in the attack spores. They consulted scientists to determine the best way to use those "morphs" to track the attack powders back to their source. They set up a repository and began checking every known Ames sample they could find by doing research into where the Ames strain came from and to where it had been shipped.

    Gradually, using the "morphs," it started becoming clear that the source for the powders was flask RMR-1029, which was controlled by Bruce Ivins.

    Checking out Bruce Ivins, investigators learned that he was mentally ill, he was an admitted burglar (he STOLE CODE BOOKS), he was fascinated with codes, he would drive long distances to send people coded gifts and commit burglaries, he would harass women, he was worried about being taken off his life-long work with anthrax, and he had all the necessary skills to make the powders. He had means, motive and opportunity. He had no verifiable alibi for the times of the crime. AND, he had attempted to destroy evidence and mislead the investigation.

    Virtually everyone else with known access to the Ames strain was eliminated as a suspect.

    In late 2005, Ivins became the primary suspect in the Amerithrax investigation, although the work with the "morphs" was not yet complete.

    Then, on November 1, 2007, they searched Ivins home and his office. Because it is common for guilty people to throw away evidence that wasn't found during police searches, the FBI watched Ivins' trash.

    On November 7, Ivins threw out two "CODE BOOKS." One of them was one of his favorite books, "Godel, Escher, Bach.

    The FBI tried to figure out why Ivins would throw out one of his favorite books.

    On page 404 of "Godel, Escher, Bach" they found a coding system involving highlighted characters that appeared to be IDENTICAL to what was in the anthrax media letters.

    Using the other "code book" Ivins had thrown away, they decoded the message in the media letter to be "PAT" or "FNY" or both.

    Then it was a question of what those decoded "messages" meant to Ivins? There was no way to know for certain, of course, but it APPEARED that "PAT" referred to Patricia Fellows, since Ivins seemed to be obsessed with her. And "FNY" could be deduced to pertain to the other former co-worker with whom Ivins was obsessed, Mara Linscott. It was well know that Mara loved New York City, and that Ivins HATED New York City.

    While it cannot be stated with CERTAINTY that that is the correct interpretation of the decoded messages, it makes enough sense to present it to a jury as a plausible layman's theory.

    The books that Ivins threw away and the fact that they related to a coded message is the "smoking gun" because it is evidence that points to Ivins AND NO ONE ELSE. The interpretation of the coded messages is just additional evidence to help explain what was going on in Ivins mind.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In court, the prosecutor would present the facts:

      1. It's a FACT that Ivins threw away the "code books."

      2. It's a FACT that there's a code in "Godel, Escher, Bach" that matches the highlighted characters in the media letter.

      3. It's a FACT that the coding procedure explained in "Godel, Escher, Bach" allows one to decode the message in the media letter.

      4. It's a FACT that the science magazine that Ivins also threw away relates to a code that appears to be in the media letter.

      5. It's a FACT that the message in the media letter CAN be decoded to be either "PAT" or "FNY" or both.

      6. It's a FACT that Patricia Fellows was one of Ivins co-workers.

      7. It's a FACT that Mara Linscott loved New York City and Ivins hated New York City.

      8. It's a FACT that those COULD BE the explanations for the code.

      9. It's a FACT that Ivins stole code books from the KKG sorority.

      10. It's a FACT that Ivins would drive long distances to deliver "coded" messages to see if the recipient could trace the message back to him.

      These FACTS are EVIDENCE that connect Bruce Ivins AND NO ONE ELSE to the media letter.

      The jury would decide if they wanted to believe this evidence or not.

      The only relevant opinion on that would be the one from the jurors.

      Ed

      Delete
    2. 2. It's a FACT that there's a code in "Godel, Escher, Bach" that matches the highlighted characters in the media letter.
      ==================================================
      No, the highlighted letters in the book are letters highlighted in their entirety. Ergo there's no doubt as to the surface text.
      There's no picking and choosing in the book among partially-highlighted letters as there is in the 'amino acid code' being attributed to Ivins. There's no standard given in the Amerithrax Summary to determine the method they used in the picking and choosing. In fact, there's no admission WHATSOEVER that they (mostly) aren't dealing with entirely highlighted letters. This misinforms the reader.
      --------------
      9. It's a FACT that Ivins stole code books from the KKG sorority.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      This fact would have been ruled inadmissible due to its prejudicial nature:

      -----
      The court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.
      -----
      http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_403
      ------------------------------------
      8. It's a FACT that those COULD BE the explanations for the code.
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      "Could be" =speculation.
      That's why specialists in the field (cryptoanalysts) are employed. And would have been employed by the defense in the unlikely event of a judge finding the 'code' admissible. To determine reliability.
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      10. It's a FACT that Ivins would drive long distances to deliver "coded" messages to see if the recipient could trace the message back to him.
      -------------
      Not using an 'amino acid code'. Using something very transparent.
      =========================================
      5. It's a FACT that the message in the media letter CAN be decoded to be either "PAT" or "FNY" or both.
      ----------------------------
      And literally hundreds of thousands(if not millions) of other things, rendering it worthless.

      Delete
    3. R. Rowley wrote: "That is not a theory (not even an unreasonable theory) for what a meaningful 3 letter message would be. All you are proving is that any random 3 letters can be linked to Bruce Ivans, because 3 letters can mean anything."

      No, what YOU are proving is that you do not understand what happened. You are making stuff up that has nothing to do with reality.
      ==============================================
      That isn't what I wrote, it's what Max wrote. I merely copy and pasted it to agree with him.
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Back to Mister Lake:
      --------------
      Here's what happened:

      Initially, Muslim terrorists were assumed to be behind the attacks.

      But, then it was discovered that the strain used was the Ames strain, which had a very limited distribution. It was restricted mostly to work at USAMRIID.

      When it was realized that the strain was an American TEST strain, the conspiracy theorists started pointing at Right Winger Steven Hatfill as being the most likely culprit.

      But, Hatfill never worked with anthrax and didn't have any known access to the Ames strain.

      So, the FBI had to check out EVERYONE with access to the Ames strain.
      ============================================
      That's a strange chronology. Why, once they determined it WAS Ames strain (October of 2001), didn't they 'check out' people who had access from the get-go (I sort of think maybe they tried to but without much fanfare!).

      Besides what you wrote about Steven Hafill had to have been known from the get-go too: that he worked in 1997-1999 in the Virology Division at USAMRIID. No need to spend YEARS shadowing him, telling his girlfriend (as one FBI agent did) that they 'know' Hatfill did the crimes etc
      No need for the AG to publicly call Hatfill a 'person of interest'. Clearly, they (the Task Force) thought Hatfill looked promising, 'conspiracy theorists' or no 'conspiracy theorists'.

      [Besides, a Hatfill-done-it-alone hypothesis is no more inherently 'conspiracy-minded' than an Ivins-done-it-alone hypothesis is: both are rogue-scientist hypotheses, with the latter being the DoJ/Task Force's own take at the end of the investigation]

      Delete
    4. R. Rowley wrote: "No, the highlighted letters in the book are letters highlighted in their entirety. Ergo there's no doubt as to the surface text."

      Yes, but clearly Ivins did not want to remove all doubt that there was a code in the letter. He didn't WANT people to decode the letter. So, he used the code but didn't make it as clear as it is in the book.

      "9. It's a FACT that Ivins stole code books from the KKG sorority.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      This fact would have been ruled inadmissible due to its prejudicial nature"


      Nonsense. NONE of the reasons in the quote you fail to say is a quote would apply. It would NOT confuse the issue, it would NOT mislead the jury, it would NOT cause undue delay, etc.

      ""Could be" =speculation."

      There's nothing wrong with speculation if it helps solve a crime. When it's presented in court as evidence, it's no longer "speculation," it is an explanation of what a WITNESS figured out.

      "5. It's a FACT that the message in the media letter CAN be decoded to be either "PAT" or "FNY" or both.
      ----------------------------
      And literally hundreds of thousands(if not millions) of other things, rendering it worthless."


      Nonsense. You just endlessly fail to understand circumstantial evidence. The FACT that the code deciphers to "PAT" combined with the FACT that Ivins was obsessed with a woman named "Pat" may not mean anything by itself, but when combined with all the other evidence, it means a great deal. THAT IS HOW CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE WORKS. You really NEED to start to understand that.

      Ed

      Delete
    5. R. Rowley wrote: "No, the highlighted letters in the book are letters highlighted in their entirety. Ergo there's no doubt as to the surface text."

      Yes, but clearly Ivins did not want to remove all doubt that there was a code in the letter.
      ==========================================
      You're inserting Ivins's name there. The whole purpose of analyzing the various skeins of evidence is to determine 1) whether Ivins or 2) someone else did it. Same way with the highlighting.

      Saying the letter-writer used the book's encryption method but 'changed' it to be tricky is to engage in unprovable (and therefore not directly refutable) mind-reading. What if an entirely different encryption method were used by the AUTHOR? Or what if it's just doodling? That would also explain why some (most) letters are only partially highlighted.
      But it wouldn't point to Ivins. And that's why Mister Lake rejects it.

      Delete
    6. R. Rowley wrote: "The whole purpose of analyzing the various skeins of evidence is to determine 1) whether Ivins or 2) someone else did it."

      YOU CONTINUE TO FAIL TO UNDERSTAND CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.

      I AM DISCUSSING THE CASE AGAINST BRUCE IVINS. YOU CONTINUE TO WANT TO ARGUE EACH ITEM OF EVIDENCE BY ITSELF. THAT IS STUPID.

      If you continue to try to argue that evidence is not evidence unless BY ITSELF is can be used to convict someone, then we have nothing further to discuss. WE CANNOT COMMUNICATE. YOU HAVE A MENTAL BLOCK THAT I CANNOT BREAK THROUGH.

      Ed

      Delete
    7. R. Rowley wrote: "The whole purpose of analyzing the various skeins of evidence is to determine 1) whether Ivins or 2) someone else did it."

      YOU CONTINUE TO FAIL TO UNDERSTAND CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.

      I AM DISCUSSING THE CASE AGAINST BRUCE IVINS. YOU CONTINUE TO WANT TO ARGUE EACH ITEM OF EVIDENCE BY ITSELF. THAT IS STUPID.
      =========================================
      If you were a proofreader or editor and you were trying to help an author improve the text, you might make overall suggestions but you would be just as helpful if you made criticisms of individual chapters. If you have a 20 chapter book and each of the 20 chapters is poor, then you have a poor book.

      A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The links do not add to each other's individual strengths as links.

      Said another way, lousy evidence remains lousy evidence, even when it is added to MOUNTAINS of other lousy evidence.
      The only good evidence of Ivins' possible guilt is: his access to RMR-1029. The rest is mindreading-disguised-as-forensic-psychology, and a concomitant effort to make the public at large think Ivins guilty because of his (all too real) mental illness and strange behaviours in the past.
      Plus a very spurious effort at decryption that no cryptoanalyst would accept as valid. Or even serious.

      Delete
    8. R. Rowley wrote: "Said another way, lousy evidence remains lousy evidence, even when it is added to MOUNTAINS of other lousy evidence."

      But it is just your OPINION that it is "lousy evidence."
      It is my OPINION that it is excellent evidence.

      I don't want to argue opinions against opinions. It never gets anywhere. Such discussions can be summarized this way:

      It is.
      No, it isn't.
      It is.
      No, it isn't.
      It is.
      No, it isn't.
      It is!
      No, it isn't.
      It is!
      No, it isn't.
      Etc., etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc, .

      If you do not understand circumstantial evidence and how it works in court, and you REFUSE to understand, we don't really have any basis for an intelligent discussion. You can just endlessly post "It isn't," and I can just endlessly post "It is." Do you really want to do that?

      So, I'm going to try once again to see if it's possible for us to have an intelligent discussion:

      Let's assume a HYPOTHETICAL situation that there were just 26 people who were known to have access to the Ames strain, thus they are all possible suspects. Their names are A thru Z.

      Only A, J, K, L, O, P, W and X had the MEANS to make anthrax powders. They had access to the equipment and the right knowledge.

      Only B, J, K, R, and S are known to have had a MOTIVE to commit the crime.

      Only C, D, K, M and R had no alibi for the time of the crime, therefore had the OPPORTUNITY to do it. There's no evidence of a second person being involved.

      So, no item of evidence points to only one suspect, but there is only one suspect to which ALL the evidence points: K

      Only K had the means, motive and opportunity.

      It is the nature of circumstantial evidence that any single item of evidence can point to many different people. But, when all the evidence is combined, all the evidence together points to only one person.

      Do you understand this CONCEPT and how it shows K to be the culprit? If not, what is the problem?

      Ed

      Delete
  39. It is a FACT that the "T" in next has not been shown to have been double-lined and so the entire code was crock. A serious approach to the issue would seek the forensic handwriting examination that determined which letters were double-lined.

    Moreover, there is no documentary evidence evidencing Dr. Ivins supposed hatred of New York. So it is not correct that it is an established fact. it was one colleague's comment that he didn't like a sports team and thought beds at a hotel were lumpy etc.

    It is a FACT that the FBI handwriting expert concluded that Bruce Ivins probably did not write the letters. There was no handwriting expert's opinion reaching a contrary conclusion. In fact, the only expert on the code concluded that the FBI's theory was not viable because the "T" was not established to be doublelined -- and thus was just concocted by the FBI agent whose experience was undercover drug buys, not forensic handwriting examination.

    The expert testimony thus would have demolished the theory. Not a single expert supported it.
    It is a FACT that there is no support for your theory that a First Grader wrote the letters. At most you've shown that the writer was not accustomed to writing English.

    ReplyDelete
  40. "Anonymous" wrote: "It is a FACT that the "T" in next has not been shown to have been double-lined and so the entire code was crock."

    Nonsense. Anyone can see that the top of the T in NEXT is double-lined. It's clearly shown and explained in the text for the "Illogical Logic - Part 2" thread HERE. Ignoring the facts and arguing nonsense over and over and over does not make facts go away.

    "Moreover, there is no documentary evidence evidencing Dr. Ivins supposed hatred of New York."

    You are nit-picking. There is WITNESS TESTIMONY to support that evidence.

    "In fact, the only expert on the code concluded that the FBI's theory was not viable because the "T" was not established to be doublelined -- and thus was just concocted by the FBI agent whose experience was undercover drug buys, not forensic handwriting examination."

    You're just arguing the same nonsense over and over again. The T in NEXT was double lined. Your opinion is irrelevant.

    The FBI agent who decoded the letter would testify in court to what he did just as any lay witness would testify to what was observed. Your BELIEFS do not change the Rules of Evidence.

    "It is a FACT that there is no support for your theory that a First Grader wrote the letters. At most you've shown that the writer was not accustomed to writing English."

    Nonsense. The FACTS say a first grader wrote the letters because HE LEARNED things between writing one document and the next that are learned in FIRST GRADE. Adults do not learn new things between writing a letter and addressing an envelope, or between writing in September and writing in October.

    YOUR BELIEFS AND OPINIONS ARE DISPROVED BY FACTS. Arguing them over and over doesn't change anything or make the FACTS go away.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Anonymous,"

      It can be easily SHOWN that the T in NEXT is double-lined, and it HAS BEEN SHOWN to you multiple times. Check my August 27, 2013 (A) comment for ILLUSTRATIONS which clearly show the horizontal line in the T in NEXT is highlighted. Click HERE.

      You just believe that highlighting must be done according to your requirements. If it is not done according to your requirements, then you do not accept it.

      That's too bad. But that's YOUR problem. It has nothing to do with evidence in the Amerithrax case.

      Ed

      Delete
  41. I agree with Mister Lake that that T is highlighted, agree with Anonymous that it's not double-lined.

    I would note once again that nowhere in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary (or in David Willman's book*) does it inform the reader that SOME letters picked for the surface text of the code are only partially highlighted (including every single highlighted letter 't', where only the crossbars are highlighted). Nor does it explain why OTHER partially-highlighted letters are excluded from the surface text.

    I would also note that none of the government's writings on this subject explain WHY only the crossbars are highlighted.....

    *http://www.davidwillman.com/

    ReplyDelete
  42. R, Rowley wrote: "I would also note that none of the government's writings on this subject explain WHY only the crossbars are highlighted....."

    You need to read my book "A Crime Unlike Any Other." I describe in detail why things were almost certainly done that way. Here's a summary:

    It would have been STUPID to highlight all the letters clearly and exactly the same way.

    If the letters were all clearly highlighted in the same way, anyone looking at the letter would assume there was some significance to the way the letters were highlighted.

    Everyone and his brother would deduce that the highlighted characters are a CODE.

    Everyone and his brother would try to break the code.

    And, if people broke the code, everyone would be wondering why the hidden message was "PAT" and/or "FNY."

    And, if you got everyone wondering that, someone at USAMRIID is going to put two and two together and figure Bruce Ivins put the code in the letter.

    By making the highlighting somewhat irregular, it's not as noticeable. It changes things from "an obvious code" to "some kind of peculiarity."

    And, you insistence that the author of the Amerithrax Investigation Summary should have explained everything in great detail is ridiculous. There would obviously NEVER be enough detail to convince you of anything. And, the more detail you have, the longer the report and the less chance that people will read it.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  43. And, you insistence that the author of the Amerithrax Investigation Summary should have explained everything in great detail is ridiculous.
    ===================================================
    If you are taking as a MODEL the code used in "Godel, Escher, Bach", then you should note any discrepancies between the thing you are trying to 'decode' and
    what's in that book. For they are trying to claim that Ivins used it (book's example(s)) as a model. Every discrepancy points in another direction: that either there's no code there whatsoever, or that the model was taken from elsewhere.
    There's nothing 'ridiculous' about that principle, a principle that would be used in any OTHER criminal case if the prosecutor tried to claim 1) there was a hidden code in a communication involved in a crime 2) the code was taken from book X and that 3) that code's solution points to suspect Y.
    That's not explaining 'everything', it's explaining the most important thing(s) (vis-a-vis the alleged code and its relevance to the case).

    ReplyDelete
  44. R. Rowley wrote: "Every discrepancy points in another direction: that either there's no code there whatsoever, or that the model was taken from elsewhere."

    RIDICULOUS NONSENSE.

    By your reasoning, the ONLY valid way to decode the message using the method described in "Godel, Escher, Bach" is if the same letters are highlighted and the same result is reached. That's asinine.

    "Godel, Escher, Bach" describes a way that scientists can look for hidden messages in radio waves from outer space - or in other places where there is no reason to believe there is a message, but there MIGHT be a message.

    They look for PATTERNS.

    There is no fixed rules on what the patterns can be. You can't PREDICT EXACTLY what a message from aliens on a distant planet will look like. The book just contains suggestions on what to look for. I.e., look for a "frame," a pattern that shows the width and length of the message. And/or look for a repeating pattern - like repeating the number three over and over. That kind of repeating doesn't occur in nature, so it could be an indicator that the number three means something.

    The method describes ways to detect a countless variety of coded messages, AND it does NOT require anyone using such a method follow any specific rule or pattern.

    You just do not understand the details of the code, and therefore you assume that it doesn't mean anything and could be deciphered in countless ways. That is NONSENSE.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  45. R.. Rowley wrote in the message HERE "So, the FBI had to check out EVERYONE with access to the Ames strain.
    ============================================
    That's a strange chronology. Why, once they determined it WAS Ames strain (October of 2001), didn't they 'check out' people who had access from the get-go (I sort of think maybe they tried to but without much fanfare!)."


    Because when they first learned it was the Ames strain, EVERYONE (INCLUDING BRUCE IVINS) thought that the Ames strain was a very common strain used in labs all over the world. It was assumed that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to trace who worked with it. They didn't know until January or February 2002 that it was actually a RARE strain with very limited distribution. That made it possible to track who worked with it.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "Besides what you wrote about Steven Hafill had to have been known from the get-go too: that he worked in 1997-1999 in the Virology Division at USAMRIID. No need to spend YEARS shadowing him,"

    You obviously don't understand how criminal investigations work. They had no evidence, but they had IMPORTANT SCIENTISTS AND JOURNALISTS saying Hatfill was most likely the killer. AND they had no other suspects.

    In a perfect world, maybe they shouldn't have paid any attention to all those people pointing at Hatfill. But, in our world, there's always a possibility that they might be right - even if there isn't YET any evidence to prove it.

    It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  46. Mr. Rowley,

    Einstein said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

    So, let me try to explain circumstantial evidence to you in the simplest of terms:

    Let's assume that there were just 26 people who were known to have access to the Ames strain, thus they are all possible suspects. Their names are A thru Z.

    Only A, J, K, L, O, P, W and X had the MEANS to make anthrax powders. They had access to the equipment and the right knowledge.

    Only B, J, K, R, and S had a MOTIVE to commit the crime.

    Only C, D, K, M and R had no alibi for the time of the crime, therefore had the OPPORTUNITY to do it.

    So, no item of evidence points to only one suspect, but there is only one suspect to which ALL the evidence points: K

    Only K had the means, motive and opportunity.

    It is the nature of circumstantial evidence that any single item of evidence can point to many different people. But, when all the evidence is combined, all the evidence together points to only one person.

    Do you understand? If not, what is the problem?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only B, J, K, R, and S had a MOTIVE to commit the crime.
      ========================================
      Since we (ie the whole US population) had no way* of knowing what the motive was, saying "Only B, J, K, R, and S had a MOTIVE" is itself wholly unrealistic mindreading.

      In the years 2001-2005, when the Task Force thought Hatfill was the most likely culprit, they probably calculated thusly based at least in part on an ASSUMED motive or motives that they thought Hatfill had. Promoting his career in BW etc.

      In the same (basic) timeframe (2001-5) when Ivins was NOT a suspect, they probably calculated that he(Ivins) had no motive. They only ascribed motive to him once they 'liked' him as a suspect for reasons having nothing to do with motive.

      So, motives can be ascribed and unascribed willy-nilly and unless you get a confession (not relevant here), you are basically casting about in the dark.
      Back to Mister Lake:
      -----------
      Only C, D, K, M and R had no alibi for the time of the crime, therefore had the OPPORTUNITY to do it.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      You are leaving out even the POSSIBILITY of an accomplice**. Not justified here. You can't eliminate 'all those with an alibi' unless you have some means to be certain it was a one-person operation. There's no realistic way to do that in a case like this.

      *no way of knowing, UNLESS we took the jihadist part of the messages at face value. A subset of 'truthers' in the case would say that anyone who doesn't take that at face value is 'ignoring' a fact/piece of evidence.

      **Particularly puzzling since Mister Lake is addressing me and has known for years that I think Amerithrax a group operation.

      Delete
    2. Mr. Rowley,

      I was trying to EXPLAIN AND SIMPLIFY how circumstantial evidence works in court. You just demonstrated that it was a waste of my time, since all you can see are complications that will allow you to disagree and argue. You understand nothing.

      Ed

      Delete
    3. Mr. Rowley,

      I was trying to EXPLAIN AND SIMPLIFY how circumstantial evidence works in court. You just demonstrated that it was a waste of my time
      ==============================================
      It works variously, depending on the nature of the case, the nature of the evidence available etc. To GENERALIZE without reference to the particulars is usually a mistake. You are trying to 'sell' the Task Force's case against Ivins, not by sifting through the particulars as to 'alibi' 'motive' etc, but by:

      1) making giant sweeping statements about how circumstantial evidence works. Since you are obviously not an attorney, and have made at least as many mistakes in discussing the law/legal procedure on the Internet since, oh, December of 2008, as I have, you'll have to excuse my skepticism as to your superiority in that realm. Senator Leahy spent years as a prosecutor before he became a politician and Leahy thinks the case against Ivins weak. It certainly isn't because he doesn't know
      'how circumstantial evidence works' (see:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Leahy#Early_life_and_family
      First Leahy was a private attorney, then he was State's Attorney of Chittenden County for about 8 years.

      2) then trying to apply these generalizations to Amerithrax.

      Doesn't work. Your 'simplification' amounts to painting another case entirely.

      Delete
    4. R. Rowley wrote: "It works variously, depending on the nature of the case, the nature of the evidence available etc. To GENERALIZE without reference to the particulars is usually a mistake."

      Nonsense. CONCEPTS GENERALIZE. If they do not generalize, then they are not concepts, they are specific explanations.

      And, if you do not understand the CONCEPT of circumstantial evidence, then you cannot understand how it applies to the Amerithrax case.

      HERE is the legal definition of "circumstantial evidence":

      Information and testimony presented by a party in a civil or criminal action that permit conclusions that indirectly establish the existence or nonexistence of a fact or event that the party seeks to prove.

      Note that it does NOT mention the anthrax case specifically. The definition applies to "circumstantial evidence" as a LEGAL CONCEPT.

      All I did was rephrase the concept:

      "It is the nature of circumstantial evidence that any single item of evidence can point to many different people. But, when all the evidence is combined, all the evidence together points to only one person."

      If you cannot understand the concept of circumstantial evidence, you cannot understand the case against Bruce Ivins.

      And you CERTAINLY cannot make an intelligent case against anyone else.

      Ed

      Delete
  47. "Nonsense. The FACTS say a first grader wrote the letters because HE LEARNED things between writing one document and the next that are learned in FIRST GRADE."

    Case closed, Ed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again you demonstrate that you cannot understand anything, much less explain it.

      Ed

      Delete
    2. "Nonsense. The FACTS say a first grader wrote the letters because HE LEARNED things between writing one document and the next that are learned in FIRST GRADE."

      Case closed, Ed.
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      I agree. My experience with a MUCH younger sibling and a niece indicates you aren't going to see discernible improvement in things like handwriting except over MUCH longer periods of time (year to year for sure, but probably semester to semester too).

      Also, you don't have to know what a period/full stop is for in order to copy it. It's simply a dot. Easier to copy than a straight line.
      Any 'improvement' in the printing in the three weeks is simply the perp dropping certain affectations, affectations designed to 'sell' a foreigner-as-perp whose native writing system is not the Latin alphabet.

      Delete
    3. R. Rowley wrote: "My experience with a MUCH younger sibling and a niece indicates you aren't going to see discernible improvement in things like handwriting except over MUCH longer periods of time (year to year for sure, but probably semester to semester too)."

      So, the teachers do not expect children to learn for a year or more how to correctly draw a letter R if the teacher shows them? Your planet must have some really stupid children. On this planet, when a teacher shows a child how to correctly draw the letter R, she more or less expects the child to TRY to draw it that way starting IMMEDIATELY.

      "Any 'improvement' in the printing in the three weeks is simply the perp dropping certain affectations, affectations designed to 'sell' a foreigner-as-perp whose native writing system is not the Latin alphabet."

      As you know, that is called "rationalizing." You're making things up so that you can explain why your suspect would write smaller in October than in September. You make stuff up, I look at the facts and explain how that is what generally happens in first grade.

      That is why we can never agree on much of anything. We're just wasting our time here. Fantasies versus facts. There is no meeting ground.

      Ed

      Delete
    4. Ed LakeJanuary 19, 2014 at 1:16 PM
      R. Rowley wrote: "My experience with a MUCH younger sibling and a niece indicates you aren't going to see discernible improvement in things like handwriting except over MUCH longer periods of time (year to year for sure, but probably semester to semester too)."

      So, the teachers do not expect children to learn for a year or more how to correctly draw a letter R if the teacher shows them? Your planet must have some really stupid children. On this planet, when a teacher shows a child how to correctly draw the letter R, she more or less expects the child to TRY to draw it that way starting IMMEDIATELY.
      ==========================================
      I wrote NOTHING about 'expectations', I wrote about the speed of progress that is realistic. That is based on a number of developmental factors which I have never studied in an academic fashion. People are not monolithic. As language-learners or anything else.

      I have the sneaky suspicion that you've never taught anyone the alphabet, Mister Lake. For all of your formulations centering on that subject tend to the naiive side of the ledger. Ditto with Brother Jonathan.

      In addition to my experience(s) already mentioned, I taught over the course of 3 academic years adults (mostly 17 to 23 year olds) how to write in Cyrillic. Bear in mind in this instance we are dealing with 1) people who have been using the Latin alphabet for 10 to 16 years and
      2) people old enough to have 'outgrown' those early years where the hand-to-eye coordination isn't top notch.

      Nevertheless, what I found were enormous differences in abilities to master the alphabet. I would say that a lot of it was sex-based: female students seldom had indecipherable Cyrillic handwriting and sometimes it was amazingly beautiful, right off the bat. Most of the difficulties in regard to Cyrillic WRITING (as opposed to reading ability) were with a subset of male students. One or more I advised to drop the course, based on their lack of progress. My 'expectations', needless(?) to say, were the same for all students. Reality, alas, sometimes rears its ugly head.

      Delete
    5. R. Rowley wrote: "People are not monolithic. As language-learners or anything else."

      Right. You are arguing against yourself. You are arguing that people are "monolithic" (although I wouldn't have used that word), that they are all alike. If you personally know a child who took six months to learn to correctly draw the letter R, then that must be true for every child.

      And, you aren't even looking at the right questions. It's not about "learning the alphabet." It's about correctly drawing certain letters of the alphabet. And it's about writing smaller.

      When a child starts his first week of first grade, he should already know the alphabet. But, does he know how to draw an R correctly? If someone shows him the correct way, why would it take six months for it to sink in?

      Agreed, it does not "sink in" immediately. The writer of the anthrax documents still showed a tendency to draw R's incorrectly after he'd been taught the correct way, but that is part of the PROOF.

      And, in first grade they generally start using lined paper. That forces the child to learn to write smaller.

      But, you will undoubtedly argue that unless it is IMPOSSIBLE for a child to take six months to learn how to draw the letter R correctly, then that is the way it must be for all children. And the writer of the anthrax documents cannot possibly do things different than the children you know.

      You're just giving nonsense arguments in support of nonsense beliefs.

      Ed

      Delete
  48. R. Rowley wrote: "People are not monolithic. As language-learners or anything else."

    Right. You are arguing against yourself. You are arguing that people are "monolithic" (although I wouldn't have used that word), that they are all alike. If you personally know a child who took six months to learn to correctly draw the letter R, then that must be true for every child.
    ===============================================
    You and Brother Jonathan (a certified-by-Ed-Lake 'truther') are the ones who:

    1) dreamed up this 'child'

    2) 'discovered' that he couldn't write periods (it's a lousy DOT!) or other punctuation marks on Sept 17th but then

    3) 'learned' to do that (and improve his letter 'R'!) in THREE weeks!
    Never with any evidence that first graders typically learn 'punctuation'* in the first few weeks of school. Never with any evidence that first graders typically improve to that extent in such a short time.

    It's all: I proclaimed it a FACT (note the all-caps!), therefore it's true.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "When a child starts his first week of first grade, he should already know the alphabet."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What is this 'should' stuff? Not all kids go to kindergarten, not all kids have an adult to teach them. Some parents just assume the first grade teacher will get to that.
    Thus they are in no hurry. Your 'should' is just you shoe-horning in your monolithic depiction of how/how fast/when kids learn stuff.
    -------------------------------------
    You're just giving nonsense arguments in support of nonsense beliefs.
    ================================================
    My 'belief' is that an adult wrote/printed the texts, just like the Task Force 'believes'.

    *When I looked into this online at sites where parents ask when-do-kid-learn-this and when-do-kids-learn that, I basically found that 'punctuation' is spread out over the grammar school career. Rare will be the first grader who knows what a colon or a semi-colon is. (Plus the media letters bore dashes "09-11-01", so if having had
    punctuation is necessary to copy such marks, then the dashes wouldn't be there until the second batch (the politician letters)).

    ReplyDelete
  49. R. Rowley wrote: "My 'belief' is that an adult wrote/printed the texts, just like the Task Force 'believes'."

    Yes, that is your BELIEF. But the EVIDENCE says otherwise.

    I HAVE talked with first grade teachers trying to see if I could get them to provide me with writing samples from the first and fourth weeks of first grade. But, they cannot do it without approval from the school board. I've never gotten the nerve to ask the school board. It's just not that important to me. I'm not OBSESSED with the Amerithrax case as you and the rest of the Truthers are. I just find the PSYCHOLOGY behind the beliefs of "Anthrax Truthers" to be fascinating. So, I'm willing to discuss their beliefs with them.

    The FACTS say a child wrote the anthrax letters. The FACTS say that Ivins had access to children of the right age. The FACTS say that Ivins was mentally ill and the right type of person to use a child that way.

    But, you'll just argue that there is a POSSIBILITY that an adult wrote the letters, and therefore you are free to believe what you want to believe, regardless of what the facts say.

    The FBI doesn't have any solid EVIDENCE that an adult wrote the anthrax documents. They just have TESTIMONY from people who THINK they REMEMBER that the writing on the anthrax letters RESEMBLED the way Ivins would write when he sent out messages where he disguised his handwriting.

    My EVIDENCE is BETTER than their EVIDENCE.

    You wrote:""When a child starts his first week of first grade, he should already know the alphabet."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What is this 'should' stuff? "


    It's the RESULT OF RESEARCH. TRY DOING SOME RESEARCH.

    Check any source. They will ALL tell you that children SHOULD know the alphabet before then enter first grade.

    From ed.gov HERE:

    At age 5, most kindergartners become able to:

    Recognize letters and letter-sound matches.
    Show familiarity with rhyming and beginning sounds.
    Understand that print is read left-to-right and top-to-bottom.
    Begin to match spoken words with written ones.
    Begin to write letters of the alphabet and some words they use and hear often.


    Check any number of sources. They'll all say the same thing.

    But, you will just argue that there could be some child somewhere who does NOT have that capability, so therefore it cannot be said that any child who might have written the anthrax letters had such a capability.

    You evidently cannot understand CONCEPTS and how they apply to REASONING.

    If a comment does not support your BELIEFS, then no amount of evidence means anything.

    If a comment supports your BELIEFS, then other beliefs, opinions and even wild guesses are sufficient to PROVE you are right.

    You use different standards to support what you believe versus what you demand that others use to support their conclusions.

    There is no way to reason with you if you cannot understand the basic concept of circumstantial evidence.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  50. R. Rowley wrote: "My 'belief' is that an adult wrote/printed the texts, just like the Task Force 'believes'."

    Yes, that is your BELIEF. But the EVIDENCE says otherwise.
    ===============================================
    Explain to us why the Task Force (NOT r rowley) doesn't recognize this 'evidence', not in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary, not in the August 6th 2008 news conference (or in any subsequent news conferences) dealing with the case, not in any of the thousands and thousands of pages of documents released in any of the document dumps since February of 2010.

    Probably, on this matter (what general SORT of person printed it) there won't be much daylight between me and the Task Force. But you are disinclined to buy anything I have to say Amerithrax-wise, and are eager to agree in all other areas of Amerithrax with the Task Force. So, I allow them to 'convince' you, if such a thing be possible.

    ReplyDelete
  51. R. Rowley wrote: "Explain to us why the Task Force (NOT r rowley) doesn't recognize this 'evidence' "

    You're asking me to READ THEIR MINDS? I thought you disapproved of that. If I try to guess why they did it, you're just going to tell me it's a guess.

    But, okay, I'll give you my "guess."

    My "guess" is: (1) They have WITNESS evidence they CAN use in court to argue that the handwriting LOOKS LIKE the way Ivins would write when sending out messages to females that he didn't want easily tracked back to him, AND (2) they do NOT have a child willing to testify in court that he wrote the letters.

    So, the evidence that a child wrote the letters is of no value in court unless the child can be produced to confirm it. Without the child's testimony, the DOJ decided to use the evidence they DO have - the witnesses who say that the handwriting is familiar to them.

    It's really not that complicated.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  52. What is this 'should' stuff? "

    It's the RESULT OF RESEARCH. TRY DOING SOME RESEARCH.

    Check any source. They will ALL tell you that children SHOULD know the alphabet before then enter first grade.
    =======================================================
    The proper 'research' isn't what someone (educator or not) tells you a child "should' know, it's research that tells you what (a) child/children DOES/DO know. The gap between those two can be wider than the Grand Canyon.

    By 5th grade (at the very latest!) kids should know where Mexico and Canada (and a whole lot of other places!) are. But news buffs like me read on a continual basis in countless news stories that American ADULTS know precious little about world geography, including US/North American geography. See:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/05/0502_060502_geography.html

    This includes students at the highest prestige colleges: see Harvard here:
    http://www.straight.com/blogra/535536/its-not-just-harvard-students-who-are-ignorant-about-geography

    Nor is this gap between what is taught and what is internalized restricted to geography alone:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/77_oklahoma_high_school_students_cant_name_1st_president/

    Funny renditions used to be available on Jay Leno's 'Jay Walking' segment on THE TONIGHT SHOW. I haven't watched the show in years. But the local colleges, UCLA, USC etc. provided many of the clueless participants, at least when I did watch.

    Obviously, there are yawning gaps between and among:

    1) what is covered, at least cursorily, in schools.

    2) what is mastered/internalized by the students, even on a temporary basis.

    3) what is permanent.

    The I-can't-write-cursive-though-I'm-19-years-old sideshow in the George Zimmerman trial gave us another face to that phenomenon. What do you think 'research' will indicate the age/grade level is for people to learn cursive? I'm pretty sure it's not freshman year of college!

    ReplyDelete
  53. R. Rowley wrote: "The proper 'research' isn't what someone (educator or not) tells you a child "should' know, it's research that tells you what (a) child/children DOES/DO know."

    All you are doing is demonstrating ONCE AGAIN that you cannot comprehend circumstantial evidence.

    Circumstantial evidence in this case is about what is NORMAL. It is NORMAL for a child to already know the alphabet when starting first grade. It is NORMAL for a child to be taught the correct way to draw letters of the alphabet in first grade if he doesn't already known the correct way.

    Therefore the letters show what is NORMAL for a NORMAL first grader.

    Your argument about some SPECIFIC child who you know who did NOT know the alphabet when starting first grade is IRRELEVANT. It has NO MEANING to the Amerithrax case.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete