You are browsing the archive for social security.

by spocko

ARRRRR, Corporate Pirates Hide Booty In Caribbean

2:40 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

My friend Alex Lawson, of Social Security Works, dressed up as a corporate pirate and showed up at the public launch event for “The Can Kicks Back” a subgroup of the billionaire funded front group “Fix the Debt” movement.

What is great about this action is how Alex used the organizations’ own PR push and event to subvert their message. They hired a PR firm to get the word out to the press. They probably had to pay the 30 people who attended it. (Grass roots movement my ass). When it came time to write a story about the event, the press who attended wrote about Alex and his message vs. the selfish billionaires and their message.

Here is Slate’s Dave Weigel’s story on the event.  Pirate Crashes Anti-Debt Group’s Event, Is Ushered Away by Giant Can

So what have we learned? I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again because repetition is good. Is good. Is good. Is good.

1) Flip their narrative with actions that co-opt their events. This works because the press feels obligated to run the “both sides” message. Use this to your advantage. Think about all the anti-war rallies in the past with hundreds of thousands of people. Then remember the stories that came out of them. The TV cameras gave 20 seconds out of a 60 second piece to the 10 “Support our troops!” counter protesters in the crowd.  Because of their formula to hear from “both sides” no matter what, TV gives a  tiny number of opponents more air time that their numbers warrant.

2) Humor. Humor. Humor.  I know this, why don’t I do it more often?  I realized that sometimes I’m  embarrassed doing something silly or funny on a serious topic. I desire to be taken seriously, yet I’m funny.  What if humor helps more people hear my message?  Do I “win” more if nobody notices my very serious comment?

Do you know WHY people who watch the Daily Show or the Colbert Report are better informed than people who watch mainstream news? It turns out that the set up to the joke is a better way to condense the information than nightly news. In order to get the joke Jon and Stephen need to explain what’s happening, then the humor helps us remember the story better. Double win.

If I wanted to push this story further, what could I do? Maybe interview the guy wearing The Can Kicks Back costume. “ How much they paying you for this gig? Are you also in charge of security and crowd control? Did you want to kick him?”

There is a old pirate saying, “When your enemy is drowning throw ‘em an anchor.”  Pete Peterson and his buddies have millions to spend, but a cheap costume, with the right message at the right time just messed up their multi-thousand dollar event.  Brilliant.

They may have the Quatloos, but they don’t have our brains, folks. Use ‘em if ya got ‘em.

by spocko

Is Jimmy Carter the Reincarnation of Eleanor Roosevelt? Exclusive Photo Proof!

8:01 am in Uncategorized by spocko

Jimmy Carter Reincarnation of Eleanor-Roosevelt

(Photo Comparison Exclusive, MUST CREDIT SPOCKO’S BRAIN! Creative commons license)

I spotted this photo of Eleanor Roosevelt on her pistol permit for New York State. I noticed a similarity with Former President Jimmy Carter so I put his photo on the card next to her so you can see it too.

Her getting a pistol permit reminds me that some people hated her. Did they hate her for her ideas or just because she was a woman? My Dad’s family didn’t like her at all. I don’t know why, but ever since I found out I’ve been reading up on Eleanor and her role in helping America get through the Depression with our soul and with new social solidarity systems in place. Systems like Social Security.

On Friday the Social Security Trustee’s report came out. We found out yet again that Social Security is in good shape. So is Medicaid. Yet people like Pete Peterson still think it is a problem. For more detail on just how full of it that the Social Security attackers are, listen to this interesting segment with my friend Alex Lawson of Social Security Works while talking to Sam Seder on Monday. (Sam was filling in for Thom Hartmann)

I was struck by the fact that there are a group of people whose job it is destroy aspects of America that help keep us healthy, fed, housed and connected. Why do they hate other Americans so much? Is it because they want the Social Security money to go to Wall Street or do they also want to see others suffer? Is it because they don’t see their own connection with others? 

This weekend I was reading Noam Chomsky book Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire. (I just love to name drop this book, yeah I not only read it, but did it at the beach! Look at me, I’m a badass intellectual!) In the book Chomsky talked about this fear the elite have of social solidarity systems like public education and Social Security.

‘[Social Security is] a system based on the concept that you should care for others, that you should care whether elderly people you don’t know can live decent lives. You can’t have that sort of thing. If a widow somewhere doesn’t have food, it’s her problem. She married the wrong husband or didn’t invest properly. In a society in which everyone is out just for themselves, you don’t pay attention to anyone else. ”

-Noam Chomsky Power Systems, p. 157

So how do you position yourself to people if your goal is to destroy the concept of caring for others? You do things like:

1) Downplay the real information.  

So did you hear about this Social Security Trustee report? Was in all over the news you follow? On Twitter? Facebook? Did Fox have on multiple people from the Social Security Trustees to explain how they are doing? Why not?

2) Keep pushing lies. 

FYI. There is not a team of people working for the Social Security Administration actively going out to shoot down the lies spread by the RW belief tanks. I’m not talking about spokespeople “being made available” to discuss Social Security on PBS’ News Hour. I’m talking about an active debunking team in DefCon 1 mode demanding to get on Fox News shows. Maybe someone at Social Security Works does some of this, but not with the kind of PR budget AEI, Cato, Heritage and Pete Peterson’s foundation does.

In today’s media environment the truth is not good enough in the face of active mischaracterization and misinterpretation of information.  Today we have a “The truth lies somewhere in the middle” reporting style. Pete Peterson and his foundations spend millions, ‘educating’ the press (sometimes by paying them to write on the topic they select in special supplemental sections of the Washington Post).

People are “Swiftboating” social security. And the Social Security administration doesn’t feel it is their job to actively go after their attackers. However, if nobody fights back, the lies spread. They become “conventional wisdom.”

3) Encourage people who stoke hate of others.

Read the rest of this entry →