The courage to be honest always has a price tag. For research bloggers like myself, those of us unwilling to manipulate material to cause it to support our preferred platform, things can be dull. We don’t get the readership for example, as those that make sensational discoveries out of the sows ears of nothingness.
However, we do collect some “friendly” fire wounds from those who profess to desire the “truth and nothing but”, those that march confidently alongside us while we uncover facts and find obscure records, who praise us (me) as long as the material I find agrees 100% with the narrative that they are invested in.
But just let me uncover something that does not do that, and it’s a bit of a different story. Being a student of human nature, I expect this to happen.
This is one of those times Kittens. Oh, it’s not too bad. It can’t be, simply by virtue of the disappointed ones having no grounds to discredit my material, or the way in which it was presented. I am careful that way. I am honest that way.
Yet my honesty can backfire a little, as those who have much invested in protecting their ongoing narratives are quick to invent concerns out of a wealth of non-issues.
What the hell am I talking about? You are welcome to wonder. The most recent post that I did, Did Corsi Lie To Zullo?, featured a 1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual link and several screenshots from said manual.
It has been somewhat misrepresented by both sides of the “birther” issue. Big surprise.. The most recent example of this surfaced today : What-Does-the-Number-9-Mean?.
screenshot snip, click to enlarge:
As this only came to my attention this afternoon, this has been sitting out there unanswered for a few days. I did send an email to D. West detailing a few fine points that I disagree with her on. Seeing as how I have read the manuals and the summaries, and anything related that I could dig up, I am in a fairly good position to discourse on this topic. I also do my readers the simple courtesy of including the link to the full manual.
While D. West did include one screenshot of a single page from the manual, that which most seemed to support her conclusions (based on her opinions), she overlooked the opportunity to include the link to the full manual and so provide her readers with an easy resource to study the materiel she was referencing in such a authoritative manner.
In fact, she left off mention of the AVAILABILITY of the full 18 page manual altogether. Instead I find this reference:
My reader next sent me a link to a blog displaying images of several pages from a manual titled Vital Statistics Instructions Manual: Coding and Punching Geographic and Personal Particulars for Births Occurring in 1961.
Obviously I was not the “reader” mentioned.
After having read, re-read, debated and argued the 1961 VSIM contents V. Corsi and Zullo’s press released “shocker”, I have made some educated assumptions about the FEDERAL punch codes referred to in the 1961 VSIM, versus the penciled codes that appear to have been written directly onto the original paper certificate forms while at the Dept. of Health in Honolulu HI. I will also address the concerns that some people seem to have about the “revision date” of Aug. 14th, 1961 of the (federal) Instruction Manual.
Link to the PDF for the 1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual
Here is my opinion, based on all of the facts that I do have available.
After reading the entire manual, fortunately only 18 pages, I realized several things. I believe these things are very important and in the interest of honesty, you will surely agree with me.
The first that I would like to get out of the way is this “Revised” date. This particular item may seem to be important, however I find no evidence that the race codes changed FROM using the number “9” indicating “unstated” TO indicating “other non-white” for this manual. It would make little sense to change the coding on this one item in mid-August, 1961 only to change it back later in the decade. In addition, by the time these certificate forms were processed at the local level, then microfilmed, then received at the location for federal coding, at least four weeks would have passed.
On reading the manual it becomes obvious that the code punchers utilizing the instructions were NOT reading the codes that were penciled on at the local level. They were following instructions on how to determine which code to use, and not once in the manual are pre-applied codes even mentioned.
We know that there were indeed codes written on the certificate forms at the local offices. We can know this not only because Corsi confirmed it with Mrs. Lee, but also because these codes were on the certificate forms at the time that the forms were microfilmed. We know that because certified copies of birth certificates from HI (1960’s) show these penciled code numbers. That can only happen if the codes were written prior to microfilming. The point I am making is that the “federal” coders worked from these microfilms. Do I honestly think that by the time the microfilm of births that occurred on Aug. 4 arrived to be processed, the punchers had to handle/code the births occurring prior to the Aug. 14th revision date differently? No, I do not. That is my opinion only.
The next point that I will make concerns the code in box 12b on obamas official long form birth certificate, father’s “Kind of Business or Industry”. As has been pointed out by Zullo (and everyone else) , this too, is a “9”.
What very few realize is that nowhere in the Federal 1961 VS Instruction Manual is a code puncher given instruction on how to code this box 12b.
In fact, there is no mention in the VSIM or in the 1960-1961 summary manuals, of the parents employment status at all. Nothing which indicates that the information in box 12b was collected or compiled by the federal government code punchers.
This indicates the numerical coding applied prior to the certificate forms being microfilmed is used for local/state level statistical purposes. It is very plausible that the “9” used by the local office did not have the same meaning it would have to the federal code punchers. I am just as certain that the coding at state level may have shared some similarities with the federal coding, but it (HI local codes) was not used by the employees who worked from the 1961 Federal VS Instruction Manual.
This also indicates that the number “9” could indeed mean the same “not stated” in both the box 9, and box 12b. But of course that can only be proven if Corsi found a local, Hawaiian DOH 1961 coding instruction manual which spelled that out. That is my hope. More for Zullo’s sake than Corsi’s.
What I am fairly certain of, after having read the manual, and the part 2 geographical coding revision instructions as well as the summaries compiled from the reports, is that “other non-white” (Obama Sr.’s race) is certainly appropriate coding re the federal instruction. Also, that the “9” was not entered on the birth certificate form by the same agency that would have used the ’61 Federal VSIM. That federal agency would not have physically written on the microfilm with a pencil.
That it is very probable there is a state/local coding manual in addition to the federally issued 1961 VSIM.
Cover for the 1961 VSIM