Where Does This Stuff Come From?

“There’s a sucker born every minute!” – P.T. Barnum

We have all seen or heard various urban legends, misquotations, outright fabrications and chain e-mail “Did you know?” stories. There are so many of them floating around that entire websites have been founded for the sole purpose of determining the accuracy of said “facts.” This is one I heard recently:

“What do Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower have in common?”

The claim is that Hoover deported 1 million illegals, Truman 2 million and Ike deported 13 million illegals under a program called “Operation Wetback.” The story goes on that this “fact” proves that we can deport all the illegal immigrants today.

Interesting. Or, it would be interesting if it were anywhere near the truth.

The fact is that “Operation Wetback” deported about 80,000 illegal immigrants and another estimated 700,000 left on their own accord.

The total cited for Hoover (actually it was Hoover and Roosevelt) is more accurate, but there is a minor caveat that is not mentioned. Of the approximate 1 million driven out of the country by “Mexican Repatriation” an estimated 60% were actually legal American citizens.

That’s just a minor “fact” overlooked by those with an agenda.

What is worse, those that blindly believe rubbish such as this, or those that perpetrate it with e-mails and public announcements?For that matter, who are these people that gin up this stuff?

I have this vision of a factory located somewhere in Florida, with lines of computers manned by cranky old white men, blasting out chain e-mails full of (nonsense) to a nation of incurious and intellectually lazy, willing participants that swallow this stink bait, hook, line and sinker.

Heard a good one lately? Share it with your fellow dubious Pop Bloggers along with the real story.

By the way, about the lead quote in the column?

P.T. Barnum never said that.

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under Conspiracies, Psychological Disorders

13 responses to “Where Does This Stuff Come From?

  1. I’ve developed an excellent ability to ignore. I’ve been helped along this path by President Obama being elected president. That seemed to bring out the “best” in those that are the most outrageous.

    Don’t we all have a penchant for seeing and hearing what we want to? I think so. And if there is a strong emotion attached to the info it has a greater possibility of being passed along, gathering new “facts” as it goes.

    Just lately, and maybe it’s because I’m extraordinarily busy, I’ve found this silliness to be really funny. What used to make me shake my head in wonder and even be leery of walking among those who buy into this shit, today just makes me laugh — AT THEM! They are such silly doofus.

  2. Most of what comes out of Glenn Beck’s mouth is laughable. My republican friend exposes his lies here http://sharethisurlaboutglenbek.wordpress.com/
    btw, I’ve never met my fellow republican blogger, he’s from upstate NY.
    I just admire him for keeping track of Beck’s lies.

  3. tosmarttobegop

    I think I mentioned it before, I received a forwarded e-mail from my friend and his wife.
    It showed a picture of President Obama walking with a book in his hand.
    There was an insert enlargement of the book and it was one written about the United States and its place in world commerce. I forget the title but it was written by Fara Zakara (Yep misspelled his name)

    Now the e-mail was saying that the president is reading a book on how to destroy the United States economy. And it was written by a fellow Moslem….

    A quick check on Amazon gave the bio of the book was stating that we, the United States needs to step up our manufacturing and exports as we were being beaten by China and other foreign countries in the World economy. Zakara is Hindo and his parents are from India.

    A simple couple of minutes check of the background facts and the e-mail was totally discredited!
    Unfortunate, the Friend and his wife were not swayed by me pointing out the facts and telling them they could check for themselves.

    • Sadly there are many people in this country that would not know the difference between a Muslim and a Hindi. They would not know that many people from India are Hindu and not Moslem. We have reached a point in this country where it is more normal to be ignorant than it is to be knowledgable.

      Thanks to conservatives for their methodical dismantling of the public education system! WTG!! Job well done!!

      • Freebird1971

        This blame game of R vs D is actually rather tiresome. If people would wake up and look around they would find that in a lot of cases there is plenty of blame to go around. Blaming doesn’t solve anything.

      • Didn’t blame R or D–I addressed conservative political policy. And rightly so.

        And I didn’t “blame”– I held them accountable for their actions. Not the same thing.

        If you are a conservative that does not support the dismantling of public education, then this comment does not hold you accountable. If you are a conservative that has supported the defunding and destruction of the system of public education in this country, then, bravo!!

        I have conservative friends and we disagree on many things. But we are still friends because I can respectfully disagree with my friends.

  4. Freebird1971

    Well Paula I’m conservative on some things libreral on others but don’t label myself as being in either camp. I am for vouchers so parents can decide what schools would be best for their child be they public or private. BTW I meant nothing personal by my post earlier.

  5. Okay, so nobody will even comment on my link, here’s some stuff.

  6. indypendent

    Whenever I get any forwarded email, I always research it – from both sides of the political aisle!

    But in most cases – it’s the Conservative Republicans that will more than likely be the ones sending the most outrageous emails. And if one would sit down and really try to think about it, would come to the conclusion that it does not even make common sense let alone be the truth.

    I don’t think these Obama haters care – they know that if anything gets passed around the internet that at some point someone on talk radio will pick it up and broadcast it as factual and then off they go – to cackle and laugh like the crazy haters they are.