Category Archives: conspiracy theory

>Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They Aren’t Out To Get You

>The latest in right-wing conspiracies: Twittergate!

What’s clear is that at some point Rauhauser noticed that he and the Beandogs shared an enemy in Howard and started encouraging them on Twitter. The Beandogs in turn began pretending that Rauhauser was their leader, intimating that they were being paid by George Soros and generally playing on the Tea Party’s paranoia. Both the Beandogs and Rauhauser deny there’s any collusion, just mutual admiration between Tea Party tormentors.

But Howard and his Tea Party buddies became convinced they were the targets of a massive Democratic conspiracy to control Twitter. Howard wrote a long blog post outlining his “evidence,” and Twittergate was born! The Beandogs, having pranked the Tea Party with spectacular success, aren’t actually that thrilled about it. “Now it’s not funny anymore that they think we’re working for Rauhauser,” said TheRealSomebody. “Now I’m not getting credit for being the scumbag on the Internet that I am. Rauhauser is.”

Our discourse has disintegrated into a replay of someone’s freshman year in high school.

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>It’s All Fun And Games Until Someone Gets Elected To Congress

>A lot of people are paying attention to Dana Milbank’s column about conspiracy theorists finding succor in Glenn Beck. The guy Milbank focuses on is currently in jail after going on a shooting spree with police. His intended targets were employees of the Tides Foundation, to which Beck has devoted hours of fearmongering.

Welcome to post-9/11 America, Mr. Milbank. What took you so long?

Milbank’s lack of self-awareness is astonishing. Our mainstream media has created these heroes of the right — Beck was foisted on the nation to a large extent by CNN, remember? So it’s a little too late to complain that there are crazy people running the asylum. Y’all are the ones who handed them the keys.

Anyway, I linked to it last month but the definitive word on media culpability was penned by author Rick Perlstein in an excellent New York Times piece prompted by the Terry Jones affair.

There are lots of conspiracy theories out there, and it’s interesting to see which ones gain traction among our power elite and which ones do not. My favorite is the one about how Mark David Chapman didn’t shoot John Lennon, author Stephen King did.

I first heard about it when the guy who cooked it up called in to a liberal talk show — it might have been Thom Hartmann. The radio host hung up on him, but not before the guy could get the URL onto the airwaves. Apparently Stephen King has been harassed by this guy for years.

It’s crazy shit and yet, no one has launched a Congressional inquiry into this. It’s immediately written off as not credible. Yet conspiracy theories about the Clintons killing dozens of people including Vincent Foster or President Obama’s birth certificate get serious attention. It’s all fun and games until someone gets elected to Congress and then suddenly this wacko conspiracy shit becomes public policy.

The left has its own conspiracy theories – and no, I’m not talking about the 9/11 Truth movement. That is one conspiracy theory which appears to be truly bi-partisan. I know plenty of people both right and left who cling to the belief that the government was somehow involved in 9/11, beyond just basic negligence. Let’s remember: this conspiracy theory started on the far right, the anti-Semitic neo-Nazi nutjobs who claim no Jews were killed on 9/11 because they got the heads up.

Lefty conspiracy theories include Bohemian Grove, which is a real place and a real retreat for the nation’s really wealthy and powerful. The conspiracy part is that they all get together to decide who the next president will be — hey, how else to explain how we got saddled with a dufus like George W. Bush, amiright?

We’re still waiting for the Congressional inquiry into that one.

Why do right wing conspiracy theories gain traction in the culture while left wing ones do not? Maybe because liberals don’t send crazy people like Michelle Bachmann to Congress to spout their crackpot ideas about FEMA camps, perhaps? In the unlikely event that Christine O’Donnell wins a seat in the Senate, is she going to launch an investigation into those mice with fully-functioning human brains?

I repeat: it’s all fun and games until someone gets elected to Congress.

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>Loons

>Digby has an interesting post up about Joseph Andrew Stack and the anti-tax scam he wrote about in his manifesto. There have been several of these groups, I even had a couple friends/acquaintances who at one time waxed enthusiastic about books which claimed to hold “the secret” to not paying taxes and how it’s all perfectly legit.

Right.

By the way, did I mention I have a bridge to sell you folks?

Digby digs through the memory hole and reflects:

IIRC, this group was one of those “common law” groups that set up mirror governments and declared that the “sovereign” state of wherever didn’t have to abide by the US Constitution. They are also loosely affiliated with the Posse Comitatus white supremacists, militias and other garden variety Anti-government fringers. It’s all part of that great American wingnut tapestry.

Obviously, I’m just guessing that one or both of these scams are what this guy was referring to, but it fits. If it was, then this fellow was not only an anti-tax loon, he was a victim of anti-tax loons, which makes him a double dupe.

This is the prosperity gospel for the non-religious. I don’t know if there are more of these kinds of groups out there than there used to be, but it sure feels like it. Maybe America’s loony bin just seems bigger because the internet has given greater visibility to their crackpot ideas. Plus, our mainstream media has given some of these nutters a platform they never used to have (yes Orly Taitz and Jerome Corsi I’m talking about you.)

Last month’s Harper’s Magazine wrote about a similar group of anti-government nutters who bought snake oil in the form of “100% inflation proof” Liberty Dollars hawked by “Monetary Architect” Bernard von NotHaus. Here’s the story of serial sucker Dr. Ned Van Valey who fell under NotHaus’ spell::

Since the 1970s, Ned had hitched his train to a succession of maverick economists and doomsday prophets. He had once made a pilgrimage to Jekyll Island, cradle of the Federal Reserve, and in the late Nineties spent his savings retrofitting his house in New York’s Hudson Valley to survive the Y2K computer bug. He installed a diesel generator and a cistern for fuel; in case of an oil shortage, he rigged the place for solar; he stockpiled bullets and guns, precious metals, and a year’s supply of food, which arrived one day, to Ruth’s amazement, in a tractor-trailer. “We expected the world to come to an end, you know,” she told me. “You name it, he did it.”

Lately they had spent some of their gold and silver survival cache on more quotidian needs, and they were slowly eating through their rations. Whatever these measures cost him, Ned retained a good-natured regard for his past obsessions, as if they were old flames who had run off with his wallet but whom he still remembered fondly. Now he hoped a quorum of survival-minded Americans would stock up on Liberty Dollars so that a Weimar-style hyperinflationary crash could be avoided here at home. (“They had paper currency with a thousand zeroes on ’em!” he said.) When the Monetary Architect got around to the couple’s order, eight troy-ounce Libertys, Ned accepted the silver gingerly, as if handling a chunk of uranium.

And how did that work out for Ned and his fellow hard money advocates?

The world had changed in ways that von NotHaus had not forseen. For nineteen weeks, the thirty-day moving average of silver had hovered below $15, and so the Liberty Dollar was forced to return to the $20 base, the first such reversal in its ten-year history. Patriots who had bought silver or eLiberty Dollars during the prior ten months saw their inflation-proof cache lose half its trade value overnight.

Oops. Well, the stock market didn’t do too well during that period either.

Last June Von NotHaus was arrested and is facing multiple criminal charges. He was forced to shut down the Liberty Dollar operation in July. And no one could have anticipated any of this [/sarcasm].

I have to wonder about people who buy every apocalyptic piece of fear-porn out there. This is a unique brand of American loon, embracing both right and left: not just the anti-U.N. black helicopter crowd but also the Peak Oil doom-and-gloom folks, the anti-banking folks, the “martial law is coming soon” folks. We mock the religious nutbars who see the End Times with every politically expedient interpretation of the Book of Revelation and we recoil in horror at the bigots who talk of a coming race war, but are these anti-tax, anti-Federal Reserve, money-cult folks any different?

You’d think after Armageddon didn’t happen and Y2K was a big bust, and the race war didn’t happen, and Jesus didn’t come back to Rapture you and your ark up to heaven that you’d have figured out there is no big boogey man out there after all. You aren’t privy to special information, you aren’t going to be saved while everyone else is doomed, and this world is the way it is not because of some cabal or conspiracy but just because.

But they don’t. It’s like a drug of some kind.

I don’t get it.

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>Tinfoil Hat Alert

>Conspiracy theorists will want to jump on board this one:

Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation

WASHINGTON, Dec 20, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush’s 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution (“VR”), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell’s activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would “throw [him] under the bus.”

A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR’s attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell’s not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.

Okay, beginning screenwriters, take note: the first rule of any thriller is to make sure your hero, who is the only one with damaging evidence against the powerful evil oppressor, is also a pilot who flies himself in small, dangerous aircraft. Because when a government cabal is out to get you, it’s always wise to avoid commercial air travel and instead fly in small private aircraft that can be easily tampered with.

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>Behold, The Power Of Cheese!

>At first I thought this was satire, but after reading the guy’s bio, I’m thinking not. Anyway, this is hilarious: what does the absence of two prominent cheesemakers from the 2008 International Cheese Technology Expo have to do with counter-terrorism?

Maybe nothing … or maybe EVERYTHING!!!!

(cue scary music)

Maybe we can draw some scary conspiracy theory from the fact that this guy used to be Garth Brooks’ roommate.

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Filed under conspiracy theory, terrorism

>Michael Savage Blames Dems For Roberts’ Seizure

>And they call us crazy? Conservative nutcase Michael Savage (AKA Michael Alan Weiner) claims that a conspiracy by Democrats is responsible for Chief Justice John Roberts’ seizure on Monday:

On the July 30 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage reacted to news that Chief Justice John Roberts had suffered a seizure that day by raising the possibility that “his health was in some way tampered with by the Democrats.” Savage said, “Something’s wrong with this picture,” after noting that Roberts’ seizure occurred just three days after Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said he would seek in general to reject any future Supreme Court nomination made by President Bush.

Savage asked, “Am I to believe there’s no connection between Charles Schumer on Friday saying he would never appoint, or never, excuse me, approve another Bush appointment to the court, to any court? And then the chief justice suffers a so-called seizure two days later? You’re telling me there’s no possibility of a conspiracy by the Democrats to have caused this seizure in some manner?” He added: “Tell me it’s not possible, and I’ll tell you you’re a liar.”

Of course what Schumer actually said was, “… we should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances.” Let’s play along with Mikey here for a moment and say it is possible to cause a seizure in another person; maybe the Chief Justice was shown the London Olympics logo. Regardless, I’d say losing the Chief Justice to a serious health issue would qualify as an “extraordinary circumstance.” Using Savage’s “logic” (which I realize is an oxymoron), one could just as easily argue that the Republicans were responsible through some medical foul-play.

I mean does Michael Savage really expect us to believe that John Roberts has a vacation home in Port Clyde, Maine — 120 miles from the Bush vacation compound in Kennebunkport, which is in the same state! The Republicans had motive and opportunity … what else do we need?

See how easy that is?

It’s tempting to write off tin-foil “haters” like Michael Savage as just another right wing crackpot. But we live in an era where corporate media outlets like CNN are bending over backwards to mainstream the craziest of wingnuts. Don’t forget: Savage had a regular gig on MSNBC until his hate speech got the better of him.

A few months ago I watched a marvelous old movie called A Face In The Crowd. It starred Andy Griffith as “Lonesome” Rhodes, a populist media hero who’s not exactly as he appears to be. It’s an excellent film that offers a few cautionary lessons for today’s media stars.

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Filed under Charles Schumer, Chief Justice John Roberts, conspiracy theory, Democrats, media, Michael Savage