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Lost trust

I don’t pretend to know the answer to what is at the very bottom of the the birther problem, but it appears that at some level it depends on a fundamental distrust of institutions, whether that is government or the media. If all people had a basic trust in the integrity of National Public Radio, FactCheck.org, CNN or the New York Times, there would no birthers.

Before I started this blog, I had a conversation with someone about Obama, and that person was greatly influenced by the book, The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate by David Freddoso. The implication of that title is that Obama’s popularity was created by the media, and therefore the “real” Barack Obama is can only be know elsewhere (in this case by his associations as disclosed in the book). By the same token, books about Sarah Palin, such as The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star by Matthew Continetti suggest that Palin’s problems are created by a media who are “elite” — meaning “not like us” and not by Palin herself.

Any group who wants to have their own version of reality prevail is going to have a problem with a skeptical, fact-checking media, and there have been enough scandals over the years, when concentrated into one big pile, to bias the public against the media. “You think the media can be trusted to authenticate a birth certificate? Remember Dan Rather!” The idea that media embarrassments ought to make them strive to do better is of no consequence.

The birthers I have known personally reject any claim of authority or integrity in the media and they have trouble judging the quality of sources. Put another way, if all media are untrustworthy then CNN and WorldNetDaily are equally reliable. I can point out where WorldNetDaily lied, and the reply is “they all lie.”

The inability to judge the relative value of non-absolutes could be a neurophysiological characteristic or it might be some failure in maturation or it might be a manifestation of the stress due to the complexity of society. I don’t know why it’s there, but it certainly is.

This article is from the Understanding the Birthers series.

23 Responses to Lost trust

  1. avatar
    LM June 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    This really does seem to be the case, and it worries me a little. They always used to say: you’re entitled to your own opinions, but you’re not entitled to your own facts. But nowadays, it seems like a lot of people feel that they are entitled to their own facts. If no source is any more credible than another, and they say different things, then you can just choose the one you like. And in that case, how is any real debate possible?

    I can hope that as everyone gets used to the new media environment, that this will fade away, at least somewhat. I don’t know, though.

  2. avatar
    sactosintolerant June 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    I think it’s even worse than you say… I see cynicism towards “opposing” media, not ALL media. In the case of birthers, WND is reliable and CNN isn’t… they MAKE it absolute.

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    sactosintolerant: But nowadays, it seems like a lot of people feel that they are entitled to their own facts.

    As I am fond of saying, any fool can make a web site. It leads to the democratization of information. It’s great that people who couldn’t make it to the top before can at least find a niche where they can express themselves, but there is a down side

    Anyway, over the next couple of months I want to think about what leads to conspiracy thinking and what it is (if anything) that is distinct about Obama eligibility conspiracies.

  4. avatar
    Steve June 12, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    I am a journalist by trade. Last summer, when the Shirley Sherrod video came out, I mentioned to my friend the Glenn Beck fan that if I did what Andrew Breitbart did, I’d be fired.
    He pointed out the Boston Globe’s passing off a porno video as a video of U.S. troops raping Iraqi women. I don’t remember that case, but it I think there’s no valid comparision between that and what Breitbart did.
    The difference, I pointed out, was not that the Globe didn’t make mistakes, but that when they did, they corrected them, they didn’t, like Breitbart and other conservatives, think that it’s not a mistake as long as you don’t admit it’s a mistake.

  5. avatar
    Daniel June 12, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    sactosintolerant:
    I think it’s even worse than you say… I see cynicism towards “opposing” media, not ALL media. In the case of birthers, WND is reliable and CNN isn’t… they MAKE it absolute.

    CNN (for example) tries to be unbiased, and sometimes fails.

    World Nut Daily doesn’t even try to be unbiased.

    That’s the difference between propaganda rags, and serious journalism

  6. avatar
    Steve June 12, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    Daniel: CNN (for example) tries to be unbiased, and sometimes fails.World Nut Daily doesn’t even try to be unbiased.That’s the difference between propaganda rags, and serious journalism

    I think sometimes, if a reporter doesn’t take clearly a side, people assume they’re biased against them.

  7. avatar
    sponson June 12, 2011 at 1:54 am #

    I think that Dr. C is on to something when he mentions “stress due to the complexity of society.” In the “old-media” era, there was more of a consensus among commonly available media (newspapers, only three television networks) about what “the facts” were and weren’t, about major public figures or events. For example, whether candidate John F. Kennedy was a secret tool of the Vatican, or whether the missions to the moon by NASA were faked. Today with the “newer” media there is more of a continuous spectrum filling in the former “gap” between sensationalist, fabricating tabloids or racist conspiracy-theory merchants at one end, and traditional “authoritative” media outlets like the New York Times at the other. “News” is more of a custom product tailored and marketed to people according to their pre-existing tastes and biases, and for every mentality or mindset there is someone offering a media outlet, be it an obscure news blog or an entertainment cable channel like Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC, to cater to that mindset. One of the results is that the “objective” prestige media more often dip into the muck so to speak that is first propagated by controversial, pointed “media” sources like Andrew Breitbart or WND. They’re doing it because these days they are in more fear of losing viewers, listeners or readers. It’s not necessarily better or worse than 1962 or 1980, say, but it is certainly different. It elevates people like Orly Taitz into a certain kind of “news media celebrity,” someone who is famous for being “on the news,” even if it is virtually always in a negative light.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 12, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    sactosintolerant: I think it’s even worse than you say… I see cynicism towards “opposing” media, not ALL media. In the case of birthers, WND is reliable and CNN isn’t… they MAKE it absolute.

    Another way to look at this is to say that the birther thinks WND and CNN are equally reliable, so that birther is free to choose which ever one fits his personal bias.

  9. avatar
    roadburner June 12, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    interesting subject this.

    when i was a child (physically – mentally i aint changed much) my parents got rid of the t.v. as they considered the quality of the programming wasn´t worth the licence fee.

    we got our news from the radio (bbc world service) and newspapers (which at the time weren´t bad), and were encouraged to read books, an obsession i´ve had ever since.

    news reporting on t.v has become more of a form of entertainment than a source of information. the main point of change i believe was during gulf war 1.
    i grew up during the latter stages of the vietnam war, which was reported on british news outlets. the reporting was who did what, what operations had happened, casualty figures, and the political fallout. this was pretty much the same on the radio and the t.v. that i saw round at my friends houses. it was straight information (albeit from the perspective of british reporters) but not sensationalised.

    the big change happened with gulf war 1. real time footage, fancy graphics, background music to gee you up, and ratings going through the roof. the mainstream news outlets discovered that in their news programmes, entertainment was more important than the information alone.

    to a large extent, this had been happening with the news press years before. the lifestyles of the rich and vaccuous, and who is shagging who started to make up a larger percentage of the content of the mainstream tabloid press. back in 1993 i tore apart the biggest selling u.k. tabloid to see what was in it, and only 19% of it´s content could be considered in some way news, and that was including the sports pages!

    here in spain, the news reporting isn´t bad. there is a divide between the gossip press and the news press (i try to read 3-4 different papers during the week from perspective of the left to the right). the t.v. news reporting on the larger channels isn´t bad either.

    on the whole though, the mainstream cable news stations seem to be pandering more to folks who need to be entertained rather than in formed, and who have an attention span of a goldfish.

    sad, but they´re going to set up their programming as per where the money comes from.

  10. avatar
    Nathanael June 13, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    it appears that at some level it depends on a fundamental distrust of institutions, whether that is government or the media

    Distrust of authority is hardly unique to birthers. It’s endemic to the conspiratorial mindset. I have a good friend who talks often about “big pharma” and the cahoots they’re in with the government to deceive us all (and make a quick billion or two) with regard to the state of modern medicine and our health. You’ll see identical sentiments expressed by Kennedy assassination conspiracists, 9-11 truthers, disbelievers in the moon landings… no decent conspiracy theory can be constructed without some measure of distrust of authority.

    My take is that it can be explained, essentially, in two words: egos and elephants.

    I mean ego in the psycho-analytical sense, not the “pride goeth before the fall” sense (though that’s wrapped up in there somewhere). All of us (and I do mean all) suffer the same two underrlying difficulties. Whether we’re male, female, Democrat, Republican, birther, anti-birther, PhDs or high school dropouts, admitting our failures and shortcomings is hard work. Our ego rebels, and we grasp for explanations and excuses.

    We all know the Indian parable of the blind men and the elephant. If there’s anything harder for us than admitting our mistakes, it’s seeing things from someone else’s point of view. It can be difficult to accept that something so self-apparent to us can be so opaque to someone else. I suppose if we were all telepathic, the problem might go away. But we’re stuck with the limitations and ambiguities of spoken — and, worse, written — language. It often is no easy task to set down our thoughts clearly and succinctly in words. It can be just as diffcult for someone else to correctly divine our thoughts from words that, for him, may carry quite different connotations, even when we agree on the core semantics. It’s the old hermeneutical circle writ large.

    So conspiracists are faced with a dilemma: how to explain the fact that others don’t see what to them is so self-apparent. And that’s where the conspiracy theory comes in. Since it’s impossible that any rational, open-minded person could NOT see what, to the believer, is so obvious, there must be some grander explanation. Something — be it mind-control, government cover-up, media bias, the Illuminati or just willful stubbornness — is preventing others from understanding. The alternative would require admitting that perhaps there are other equally — or worse more — reasonable points of view. In short, to stare down our own egos and admit our limitations. Humility kicks against the goads.

    “Obots! You’re all a bunch of Obots! Brainwashed by the liberal media, fooled by that lying fraud of a president. Open your eyes. Can’t you see?”

    Don’t think for a minute that anti-birthers are any different: “brain-dead birthers. Mentally unstable. Right-wing wackos blinded by their ideology and their hatred of Obama. Racists! That’s what they are!” We may not fall for conspiracy theories, but that doesn’t stop us from reaching for our own version of the easy explanation for why birthers fail to see what should be –MUST be — apparent to any rational human being.

    It can be easier to demonize than to sympathize. And it’s a lot more enjoyable to hear to ourselves speak — after all we sound a lot more sensible than they do (don’t we?) — than to try to listen empathetically to a bunch of idiots.

    “Oh, Great Spirit, grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.”

    –Nathanael

  11. avatar
    Nathanael June 13, 2011 at 2:02 am #

    it appears that at some level it depends on a fundamental distrust of institutions, whether that is government or the media

    Distrust of authority is hardly unique to birthers. It’s endemic to the conspiratorial mindset. I have a good friend who talks often about “big pharma” and the cahoots they’re in with the government to deceive us all (and make a quick billion or two) with regard to the state of modern medicine and our health. You’ll see identical sentiments expressed by Kennedy assassination conspiracists, 9-11 truthers, disbelievers in the moon landings… no decent conspiracy theory can be constructed without some measure of distrust of authority.

    My take is that it can be explained, essentially, in two words: egos and elephants.

    I mean ego in the psycho-analytical sense, not the “pride goeth before the fall” sense (though that’s wrapped up in there somewhere). All of us (and I do mean all) suffer the same two underrlying difficulties. Whether we’re male, female, Democrat, Republican, birther, anti-birther, PhDs or high school dropouts, admitting our failures and shortcomings is hard work. Our ego rebels, and we grasp for explanations and excuses.

    We all know the Indian parable of the blind men and the elephant. If there’s anything harder for us than admitting our mistakes, it’s seeing things from someone else’s point of view. It can be difficult to accept that something so self-apparent to us can be so opaque to someone else. I suppose if we were all telepathic, the problem might go away. But we’re stuck with the limitations and ambiguities of spoken — and, worse, written — language. It often is no easy task to set down our thoughts clearly and succinctly in words. It can be just as diffcult for someone else to correctly divine our thoughts from words that, for him, may carry quite different connotations, even when we agree on the core semantics. It’s the old hermeneutical circle writ large.

    So conspiracists are faced with a dilemma: how to explain the fact that others don’t see what to them is so self-apparent. And that’s where the conspiracy theory comes in. Since it’s impossible that any rational, open-minded person could NOT see what, to the believer, is so obvious, there must be some grander explanation. Something — be it mind-control, government cover-up, media bias, the Illuminati or just willful stubbornness — is preventing others from understanding. The alternative would require admitting that perhaps there are other equally — or worse more — reasonable points of view. In short, to stare down our own egos and admit our limitations. Humility kicks against the goads.

    “Obots! You’re all a bunch of Obots! Brainwashed by the liberal media, fooled by that lying fraud of a president. Open your eyes. Can’t you see?”

    Don’t think for a minute that anti-birthers are any different: “brain-dead birthers. Mentally unstable. Right-wing wackos blinded by their ideology and their hatred of Obama. Racists! That’s what they are!” We may not fall for conspiracy theories, but that doesn’t stop us from reaching for our own version of the easy explanation for why birthers fail to see what should be –MUST be — apparent to any rational human being.

    It can be easier to demonize than to sympathize. And it’s a lot more enjoyable to hear to ourselves speak — after all we sound a lot more sensible than they do (don’t we?) — than to try to listen empathetically to a bunch of idiots.

    “Oh, Great Spirit, grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.”

    –Nathanael

    After all that long-winding philosophizing I had another thought. The world is a very complex place — frighteningly complex. So we humans have ways of coping. We generalize, we abstract, we categorize, we preconceive, we round up and down — all in an attempt to simplify reality down to a level we can deal with. After all, black and white are a whole lot easier to work with that infinite shades of gray. Mostly, our abstractions and categories and generalizations and preconceptions and roundings off serve us well.

    (They’re more than a convenience, in fact, they’re an absolute necessity. Imagine having to have a different word for every object in your house. Fortunately, we can abstract, say, all that stuff in the living room as “furniture”, or all those things in the kitchen drawers as “silverware”. We allow in only as much gray as we need. “Get me a spoon!” usually works just fine, but sometimes, “Oh, sorry, I meant a teaspoon” is required.)

    We LIKE simplicity. We NEED simplicity. Life lived in grayscale is nasty and uncomfortable and messy and inconvenient and prevents us from getting things done. But we can also hide behind generalizations in order to avoid those scary complexities. “Right-wingers are nothing but a bunch of undereducated, knee-jerk, relgious fanatical wackos who wouldn’t know a logical argument if it rang their doorbell and introduced itself all proper like”, helps liberals avoid confronting the possibility that there may, indeed, be very reasonable arguments for being a conservative (or vice versa, of course). We’re so comfortable with our own personal preconceptions — after all, they’ve served us so well — that it can be a bit unnerving to have them challenged.

    Hence the conspiracy theory. Now conspiracy theories have a tendency to grow so complicated — they have to be able to explain so many things, doncha know? — that they would seem fated to collapse under their own weight (which they inevitably do, of course). But the one thing they never do — and this is the deal-clincher for many — is challenge our preconceptions. It’s far more comforting to think everyone else is wrong than to face the possibility that it’s me, Occam notwithstanding. Far less messy to believe in a liberal media mindwashing the masses, than to deal with the possibility that reasonable people could reach conclusions diametrically opposed to mine.

    And this is why it’s so hard to deal rationally with a conspiracist, because the attraction to conspiracy is not, fundamentally, a rational process. It’s fear. Fear of being wrong. Fear of having our preconceptions challenged. Fear of having to step outside our comfort zones and deal with foreign ideas and views and beliefs. You can knock down a dozen birther arguments with logic, debunk a hundred with reason, destroy a thousand with facts, and still not convince a birther, because it wasn’t, fundamentally, logic or reason that won him over to the conspiracy in the first place. He was afraid of the unknown.

    And of course, when I say “he”, I really mean “we”.

    –Nathanael

  12. avatar
    Nathanael June 13, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    Ok, one more tought and then I promise I’ll shut up.

    Logical argument will never win over a birther (how long have you all here been doing that? How many birthers have you convinced? That’s what I thought) because that’s never really what the birther psychology has been about. All of the Vattel and the Connecticut SSN, and the Kenyan birth certificates and the Indonesian citizenship is just a red herring – a smoke screen over the underlying psychological motivations.

    Here’s a test you can make: get to know someone who’s a birther. Find out what else they believe in or are passionate about. I’m convinced you’ll find birtherism is not the only conspiracy most of them subscribe to. Conspiracy theories are comfortable, so why stop at just one?

    It’s my assertion that the only way to win over a birther is to show him that the world outside his preconceptions isn’t such a scary place after all. Don’t believe me? Try a thought experiment. You conduct a telophone poll of 1000 birthers, in which you ask just one question:

    “Barack Obama is (choose one):

    A) A decent guy who just happens to have different ideas than me.

    B) The devil incarnate – the very paradigm of evil; committer of fraud, forger of birth certificates. Secret communist/socialist/facist/podiatrist bent on subverting all that is good and great about America.”

    What result do you think you’ll get?

    Now imagine — remember, this is a thought experiment — you could convince a birther that Obama really is a nice chap who’s trying to do the right thing within the limits of his own beliefs and political persuasions. How long do you think that person would remain a birther? Remove his fear of the unknown (embodied in the person of the president) and you remove the underlying emotional need for the comfort the conspiracy theory provides. If there’s nothing to be afraid of, there’s no need to hide.

    One final note. I’m really not comfortable with the term “birther”. It’s a pidgeon hole, a device that allows me to keep them at arm’s distance. After all, if I allowed them any closer, I’d have to look them in the eye, and then I’d see myself. After all, I’m just as uncomfortable having my preconceptions challenged as birthers are. The only real difference between me and them is the coping mechanisms we choose. I’ve never really gone in much for conspiracy theories. I tend more toward putting on airs of superiority. “What rock did THAT birther crawl out from under? What an idiot!” And, because he has the IQ of a sloth, there’s no need to disturb my preconceptions with his ideas.

    Sorry to be so introspective in public.

    –Nathanael

  13. avatar
    Lupin June 13, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    (In case anyone wonders I had been traveling, then needed to catch up.)

    When I grew up in the 70s, the American media were widely admired; it was an ideal that our own press could only aspire to — in vain. I once visited the Washington Post editorial offices in 1978 and it was like being in the Vatican (if you’re Catholic).

    The sad truth is that, especially since the Iraq war, the US media are now held in contempt or derision by their European colleagues. A journalist from Le Figaro (center right) compared the New York Times to the old Pravda to me in 2005.

    Most American expats who’ve been watching the news outside the US are astounded by how much stuff you’re not being told.

    There are other problems of course.

  14. avatar
    G June 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Lupin:
    (In case anyone wonders I had been traveling, then needed to catch up.)

    When I grew up in the 70s, the American media were widely admired; it was an ideal that our own press could only aspire to — in vain. I once visited the Washington Post editorial offices in 1978 and it was like being in the Vatican (if you’re Catholic).

    The sad truth is that, especially since the Iraq war, the US media are now held in contempt or derision by their European colleagues. A journalist from Le Figaro (center right) compared the New York Times to the old Pravda to me in 2005.

    Most American expats who’ve been watching the news outside the US are astounded by how much stuff you’re not being told.

    There are other problems of course.

    I’d love to hear more specifics to understand the differences of how America is viewed from the outside.

  15. avatar
    Rickey June 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Lupin:

    The sad truth is that, especially since the Iraq war, the US media are now held in contempt or derision by their European colleagues. A journalist from Le Figaro (center right) compared the New York Times to the old Pravda to me in 2005.

    Most American expats who’ve been watching the news outside the US are astounded by how much stuff you’re not being told.

    I suspect that it is largely laziness. As we saw with the Swift Boat liars in 2004, it is much easier to regurgitate a “controversy” and perhaps make a few calls for comments than to actually do some real reporting by getting out there and investigating the charges.

    I remember that when the Indonesian passport claim first surfaced, I was surprised that not a single reporter was sufficiently interested to ask the State Department for clarification on whether Americans could travel to Pakistan in 1981. What’s Your Evidence posted the New York Times travel article, but the rumor festered for months before someone found the State Department’s 1981 travel advisory. Ironically, the lack of reporting by the news media serves the conspiracy theorists in two ways. First, there is no immediate investigating and debunking of falsehoods; second, it feeds the notion that the media is in on the conspiracy.

    Even now, the mainstream media seems to be ignorant of the Vattelists. Those of us who have been involved in this blog knew that the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate wasn’t going to shut up the hard-core birthers.

  16. avatar
    LM June 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Last year, there was an idea going around that the weekly political shows should be fact-checked. When the host of “Meet the Press” said that it wasn’t necessary because “People can fact-check [it] every week on their own terms”, I was really disturbed. I’m not sure there’s ever been a public statement that pissed me off more.

    So we can just fact-check everything on our own? How? If I want to believe what the Democrat says, I can find a source that’ll tell me that. If I want to believe what the Republican says, I can find a source that’ll tell me that. And if you’re not going to be any help in figuring out which is right, then what good are you? I can hear what each sides talking points are anywhere.

    What really bugs me is that in this environment there’s really no downside to just flat-out, barefaced lying. In fact, logically that’s what you should do. The truth is never totally on your side, so you should just avoid that and tell a good story where you’re totally right and the other side is totally wrong. No one’s going to call you on it; and if they do, just accuse them of being biased. It’s easy!

    I was actually surprised that Donald Trump’s nonsense was called out. So there is a line after all–it’s possible for something to be so far out there that they will feel compelled to say so. That’s kind of reassuring. Kind of.

  17. avatar
    Lupin June 14, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    G: I’d love to hear more specifics to understand the differences of how America is viewed from the outside.

    It’s hard to not overgeneralize, but some of the salient differences are:

    — the ” shape of the Earth: opinions differ” syndrome. In the US, it seems to me that the media are all too often reporting ” he said, she said” as if the two sides of a controversy were equally valid; often it is not so; that doesn’t seem to happen in Western Europe;

    — the ” stenographer” or “Pravda” syndrome: in recent years, even the best US media have appeared all too happy to merely regurgitate what anonymous Government sources tell them; strangely enough, our media used to be like that here in the 60s or 70s but now it’s the opposite;

    — the ” look: shiny object” or ” shark attacks” syndrome: probably because of the need to feed airtime & cater to tabloid / prurient interests because of the advertising/rating context, your media will devote precious time to worthless stories while not covering major issues

    — the ” dead Belgians don’t count” syndrome — every country suffer to some extent from myopic coverage when it comes to news, but the US media have become more US-centric than ever before, e.g.: the recent e-coli crisis in Europe has barely been reported/analyzed; on Fox, this turns into downright ” America Uber Alles” xenophobic coverage which can be quite unpleasant to a non-American eye, especially since Fox is also broadcast in Europe on SkyTV. I have to say, having Fox available on Sky-TV in Europe make your country look really really bad.

    and speaking of Fox:

    — the ” Propaganda Network” syndrome — we don’t have anything like that here, and the idea that our mainstream media would actually grant airtime to some of the lunatics who routinely appear on Fox is unimaginable. The recent ” debate” where Fox pit one of its sock puppets against an Obama look-alike (!) just boggles the mind. I don’t even think it would be legal here.

    On the other side of the coin, when it comes to entertainment, our TV channels generally suck big leagues, except for the UK. Thank god for American series!

  18. avatar
    Sef June 14, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Lupin: : the recent e-coli crisis in Europe has barely been reported/analyzed;

    In point of fact, this focus could have been quite deadly. We were in Europe when the outbreak occurred and the English-language TV programs were not covering it. Thankfully, the International Herald Tribune did cover it. Also, thankfully, I don’t eat sprouts.

  19. avatar
    Jleinf June 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    So why does Barry have a Conn. social?

  20. avatar
    gorefan June 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Jleinf: So why does Barry have a Conn. social?

    One can only speculate, but the most likely scenario involves a clerical mistake. At the time the President applied for his SSN, he was living at his grandparents house in Honolulu. The zip code was 96814. The Social Security Administration website says that SSNs were assigned by zip code of the return address of the applicant. The zip code for Danbury, Connecticut is 06814. So if a clerk/typist in the SSA office in Baltimore tyuped a 0 instread of a 9, he would get a Connecticut SSN.

    Now what is your theory for why a 15 year old has a Connecticut SSN?

  21. avatar
    James M June 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Jleinf:
    So why does Barry have a Conn. social?

    Why can’t you tell us? Do you allege that a crime has been committed, or not? If so, then what is your evidence? If not, then why is it an issue?

  22. avatar
    Sef June 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Jleinf:
    So why does Barry have a Conn. social?

    There’s no such thing as a “Conn social”. Social Security is a Federal program and the feds can give the numbers out any way they like.

  23. avatar
    Majority Will June 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Jleinf:
    So why does Barry have a Conn. social?

    There was a cool dance in Hartford? Who’s Barry? Is that a boyfriend of yours?