I have a great cardiologist who shocks my heart sometimes by sending me stories detailing governmental abuses and would-be scandals, if only the most powerful U.S. media paid attention to them. But here’s the problem: He’s a wonderful discerner of quackery in medicine but not always in reporting, so he also passes along epistles from folks whom Barack Obama has apparently driven to derangement.
For example: Raise your hand if you’ve received an email saying the president is using the Social Security number of Jean Paul Ludwig, who was born in France in 1890, emigrated to the United States in 1924, and lived mostly in Connecticut, where he received Social Security number 042-68-4425 in 1977. Ludwig died in Hawaii, where Obama’s grandma, Madelyn Dunham, was working in a Honolulu courthouse office that gave her access to the Social Security numbers of deceased individuals. Dunham purportedly knew her grandson was not a U.S. citizen so she selected that Social Security number for him, even though since Obama never lived or worked in Connecticut he should not have a Social Security number reserved for residents of that state.
Many people have debunked this story without even raising a sweat. Ludwig’s Social Security number was completely different: 045-26-8722. Those first three digits are not reserved for Connecticut residents. If Obama were a non-citizen, he could still legally obtain a Social Security number. I won’t go into the complicated explanation of why Obama would have his particular number, but you can read the details at Snopes.com or elsewhere. If you’ve seen variants of this story—one new one has Obama stealing the Social Security number of one Harrison J. Bounel—please do not forward it to anyone else.
You may also have received emails saying every president since 1944 has attended D-Day memorial ceremonies, but Barack Obama has disdained them every year. Those who have researched this say only four U.S. presidents—Obama is one of them—have attended such ceremonies. I could mention many more missives, some of which purportedly come from voices of authority like Clint Eastwood or John Wayne’s daughter (who had nothing to do with them).
Don’t pass along quackery. I don’t put much past the Obama administration these days, but don’t assume specific malignancies unless you’ve checked them out. My cardiologist has a high regard for the truth, so he doesn’t send around what I’ve debunked. All our readers should do the same: There’s plenty to attack in the Obama presidency without making things up.