Thursday, November 28

How does the Left explain away implausible things about their president?

Propaganda--cleverly euphemized by politicians and the media as "spin"--is the entire suite of techniques used to mislead people, typically about political matters.

The Nazis seem to have been the first to have actual government employees whose job was producing propaganda, but the communists have raised the practice to an art form. But creating propaganda is hardly limited to the communists, and if you wanna see propaganda in action it's hard to find a better one than snopes.com--a site ostensibly devoted to debunking myths but actually a leftist-funded and -run spin-shop.  For example, consider this piece about the curious provenance of Obama's social security number.

It's been claimed that Obozo has the SS number 042-68-4425.  Before 1972, regional Social Security offices in each state issued account numbers (thus also cards) to applicants.  The account numbers in each state started with a trio of sequential numbers--say, 041-, 042- and 043-.  You can easily verify this for yourself by asking friends 50 and over born in the local area what their social security numbers start with.

Before 1972 the 042 prefix was used exclusively by SS offices in Connecticut.  So if Obama was born in Hawaii and never lived in or even visited CT before he became president, how did he get an SS number that Snopes admits begins with 042- ?  Here's how Snopes spins it--and as you read the 'grafs below keep in mind that another Democrat president evaded a question by saying "What is the meaning of 'is'?" :
the claim that Social Security numbers beginning with 042 are "reserved for Connecticut residents" is false. As explained by the Social Security Administration, the area number portion of a SSN does not (and never did) necessarily correspond to the state in which an applicant was born or resides; it simply reflects the mailing address which the applicant has requested his newly issued card be sent to. That mailing address does not have to be the same as the applicant's residence address: it can be the address of a friend, relative, employer, rented post office box, or anyone else authorized to receive mail on his behalf: [They now seem to quote the SS administration]:
The Area Number is assigned by the geographical region. Prior to 1972 cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the State in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be the State where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office. Since 1972, when SSA began assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, the area number assigned has been based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. The applicant's mailing address does not have to be the same as their place of residence. Thus, the Area Number does not necessarily represent the State of residence of the applicant, either prior to 1972 or since..
Why Barack Obama's Social Security card application might have included a Connecticut mailing address is something of a curiosity, as he had no known connection to that state at the time [or any time, Sparky], but by itself that quirk is no indicator of fraud. The most likely explanation for the discrepancy is a simple clerical or typographical error....
This is classic: Offer a possible explanation--no matter how unsupported--for the anomaly, and wave away any questions about how Obozo could have actually accomplished this by saying "the most likely explanation is..."

To be more specific:  Snopes uses a carefully-worded paragraph from the SS administration to set up as a plausible explanation the notion that a person could apply for an SS number at any SS office, regardless of where he or she lived.  Fair enough.  So tell us: when when did Obama visit Connecticut to apply there?  Why did he go to a state so far off his normal path?  Note that Obama has prudently never said a word about this--and no reporter has the courage to ask.

A second classic technique is to offer the reader several possible explanations.  This has the twin benefits of a) letting the credulous choose the option that's most plausible to them; and b) in the unlikely case that critics were ever to prove that one option was impossible, the fable isn't discredited because another option (or two) still remains.  So in this case the fable-ists offer the possibility that Obama need not have actually visited CT but could have simply applied from Hawaii and asked that his SS card be sent to an address in CT.

In this version the mistranscription of a single digit turns a Hawaii zip code into a CT one.  Hey, sounds very ordinary.  But for this to be true, what address in CT did Obie use?  If he used his Hawaii street address and city, how could the SS munchkins not recognize that "Honolulu" isn't in CT?   Never mind.

And note how the author asserts "the most likely explanation" without a shred of analysis more detailed than "Oh, you *could* get a SS number from a state other than your state of residence...uh...if you requested that the card be sent to some out-of-state address.

Plausible, citizen.  In fact, "the most likely explanation."

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