Sunday, November 02, 2008

Jack Cashill Writes That Yavelow Study Confirms Ayers' Hand in Obama's Memoir

"Obama’s memoir was published in June 1995. Earlier that year, Ayers helped Obama get appointed chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge grant. In the fall of that same year, 1995, launched Obama’s political career with a fundraiser in his Chicago home. In short, Ayers had the means, the motive, the time, the place, and the ability to burnish Obama’s literary star."---Jack Cashill

Jack Cashill has been writing a series of articles elaborating on his theory that the Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers authored Senator Barack Obama's memoir Dreams From My Father (1995).

As I noted in a previous post, The London Times (11-2-08) just published a dismissive article that ridiculed Cashill's research without looking at the evidence.

The London Times article is titled "Republicans try to use Oxford don to smear Barack Obama" (11-2-08).

Great Britain's most famous newspaper failed to ask Senator Obama if Bill Ayers had a hand in writing Dreams from My Father. Why didn't they get Senator Obama on the record? We know that Senator Obama didn't tell us the truth when he claimed that Bill Ayers was just his neighbor.

Jack Cashill followed up the London Times' ridicule by posting another article explaining his theory and reporting what Chris Yavelow, the creator of a software product called FictionFixer, and other scientists say about Dreams From My Father. The article is titled "Yavelow Study Confirms Ayers' Hand In Obama's Dreams" (11-2-08):

Yavelow, an award-winning composer and author, had worked for years developing what he believes is the most comprehensive linguistics tool for authorship detection, a software product trademarked as FictionFixer.

Yavelow contacted me and I sent him some relevant materials. When he ran the two books nominally by Barack Obama, the 1995 Dreams From My Father and the 2006 Audacity of Hope, through FictionFixer, he concluded, “They were written by different people.”

As Yavelow explains, authors don’t go from a 3.8 percent use of the passive voice in 1995 to an 8.3 percent use in 2006. For developing writers, the use of the passive almost always diminishes with experience.

Yavelow cites a score of other characteristics that change too conspicuously from one Obama book to the next, among them the Flesch Reading Ease score, the use of gender words, sentence starters, adverbs, discouraged words, sensory triggers, and more.

When, however, Yavelow compared Obama’s Dreams with Bill Ayers’ memoir, Fugitive Days, he found the similarity of the two books “striking.” He then quickly corrects himself: “’Striking’ is an understatement for the relationship FictionFixer uncovered between Fugitive Days and Dreams From My Father.”

For instance, Dreams averages 17.61 words and 26.48 syllables for non-dialogue sentences. Fugitive Days averages 17.62 words and 26.27 syllables.

Another example is what Yavelow calls “attributions”—e.g., he “asked,” she “said,” they “wondered.” Some authors use as few as three. Many use fewer than twenty. Dreams, however, uses 36; Fugitive Days 34, and with only four exceptions—three of these used only once—the two books use the very same attributions.

Yavelow compares the two books on any number of other characteristics and concludes, “There is a strong likelihood that the author of Fugitive Days ghost-wrote Dreams From My Father using recordings of dialog (either tape recorded or notes). Alternatively, another scenario could be possible: Ayers might have served as a ‘book doctor’.”

American Thinker has made the Yavelow study available below [see here]. By the standards of this profession, it is remarkably easy for the layman to follow.

Unbeknownst to Yavelow, three other individuals or teams had volunteered to run analyses of the books using off-the-shelf software, which allows for easier testability...

[See the full text of this very lengthy article which includes information from other experts; See my previous articles about the authorship of Dreams by searching Cashill. See American Thinker's "Fiction Fixer Evaluation of Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama and Fugitive Days by William Ayers."]

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