NOTE: This goes back to June 2010, a time leading up to the last off-year election. Presently (7/2014) I am getting a huge flood of hits on it -- it's probably being circulated again with all new dates to make it seem current.
This is a kind of general response to the kind of thing I think that email represents. I use the phrase "Not Really Right Wing Mom" to draw a connection with the web site "My Right Wing Dad" which has made a sort of database of such emails. Aside from the generalities it also addresses the way it is made to look like it came from a highly respected source -- a typical technique of such emails. One actually took a scathing anti-Bush tirade that was part of a book written by Gene Iacocca (the ex Chrysler CEO) a few years ago, eliminated all references to Bush and put in one small implied reference to Obama -- just enough, and passed it off as Iacocca's warning to the nation about Obama.
I can only say so much about the article with a couple of minutes research, but will take a closer look at it later [as you can see I went on for more than a
couple of minutes, but still haven't dealt with the article point by point, but I'll get to that].
To me it extremely upsetting and somewhat frightening that good people who once saw politics in a fairly level headed way are up to their eyeballs in material that is so systematically dishonest.
I really think the reason things look so bad to so many people in America is to a big extent because this avalance of propaganda and twisting facts and seeing things one-sidedly is like nothing we've ever seen before. These forwarded emails are the worst. They are full of lies and there is nobody to track down and try to expose for the liars that they are. They make a constant racket of claims that public people like Rush Limbaugh would never touch because it would destroy their reputations, but these wild claims prepare people for Rush Limbaugh and others with their less wild but complementary assertions and their general conclusions..
The internet is a great thing potentially, but it has disoriented a lot of people. It gives every worldview however extreme a place to meet and build up steam. Not just "Tea Partiers", but people who believe 9/11 was a hoax and that really the Bush government blew up the World Trade Center; and a similar group in Britain says the blowing up of trains there was staged by the government. Not to mention it is the main way terrorists are recruited and promote themselves, and spread new techniques, like IEDs (Improvised explosive devices) and technologies for suicide bombers.
People no longer have to get in a room with people with different leanings, and discuss things, and arrive at a plausible view of things. There is no pull toward the center the way there was when we had 3 TV networks that have to give "equal time" to the counter-argument if they put on something that was blatantly political.
If you search for the supposed author of the "Wall Street Journal Article", named "Eddie Sessions" on online.wsj.com (Wall Street Journal Web page), you find nothing - I'm really don't know if there is any such person. WSJ wasn't the first place I went, and after what I learned so far, I was hoping to find an explanation. There are many links to analyses of this article on the web, one is
This Snopes website is a major source for information on hoaxes. It does not seem all that purely liberal. At least, it (Snopes) runs ads like:
* "Barack Obama Video Jokes Watch Jokes made of Barack Obama."
* "Ann Coulter - Free Get weekly email alerts on the latest from Ann Coulter - Free!"
Anyway, about the article, the bottom line for Snopes was:
This piece was actually penned by Alan Caruba, who posted it to his "Warning Signs" blog on 2 January 2010.
There is some speculation that maybe, just maybe, it appeared as the blog equivalent of a "letter to the editor" on a WSJ blog, but it never appeared as an article, or even an editorial in the Wall Street journal.
Note that it isn't just innocently credited to the WSJ. The intro part of that email referred to the WSJ as "the most widely circulated newspaper in America". It bothers me to see editorial features called "articles" -- the WSJ has a very high reputation for journalistic integrity, but their editorial page can be quite propagandistic -- but this as I hope I've made clear goes way beyond that.
(Alan Caruba's -- the real author -- general info: http://www.blogger.com/profile/10901162110385985193, and here is the link to the article as posted on his web site:
I think the U.S. is probably essentially further from socialism than it was in the 1950s when some people had 90+% marginal income brackets, and Interstate Highways were starting to replace state roads and state or privately owned turnpikes and bridges for getting around the country. The post office had a monopoly on shipping packages; there were no Fedex or UPS. The "Phone company" was another monopoly that was called private, but was so tightly controlled and supported by the government that it didn't act like a normal private company). Bell Labs (the research and development part of AT&T) was more like a giant university than like any part of any business that exists today, and we have them to thank for the transister, integrated circuits, and lasers, the foundation of the whole top level of modern technology.
Broadcasting networks were governed by the "fairness doctrine" (so Fox news would not have been possible). The state and federal park system was being built up -- compare it to the tacky private tourist destinations that are mostly a thing of the past now -- the little museums and zoos, the wax museums, the cave tours, etc. They were "free market" but somehow didn't provide such a satisfying experience.
It is debatable whether all of these things are good or not, but what is not debatable is that we were far and away the most successful nation in the world at that time, and the middle class was stronger than ever before or since, and expanding. So the idea that, after 3 decades of mostly moving to the right -- towards deregulation in every area including financial products and oil drilling and coal mining standards -- that after all this rightward movement, the government might take on a new responsibilities, or taxes might rise back to where they were during the Reagan years -- that some movement back to the "left" will mean a rapid slide to Stalinism -- and that that could happen with half the fear and loathing that has been drummed up towards Obama -- it just doesn't hold water.
As technology and the business environment evolve, some things will seem to be best managed by government that never were before (or maybe never existed before) and some things that were government concerns get "spun off" to the private sector, or regulated businesses become deregulated, so they really behave like private business matters. All kinds of communication and transportation are far more "private" than they used to be. Meanwhile the environment and esp. the quality of the air and water became much more public matters, and while there was a cost to the private sector, the Great Lakes and many other bodies of water stopped turning into sewers.
Well, I could keep working on this for days, but had better stop for now and try to get some work done.
Link to the fake 'WSJ' article with detailed comments
WRONG PAGE (See Below)
4 years ago