Outside the Asylum

taz6_0.jpg

Come outside.

Last week, my partner Kate was hospitalized due to some complications from late-stage kidney disease. Thankfully, all she needed was to be put on a diuretic. But it's been a hell of a month.

So today, I'm only going to submit one thing for your consideration. It's a pet peeve of mine, and it's used almost daily to censor and direct discussion--and to discredit dissidents. It is one of the primary tools for protecting the status quo.

Meet the conspiracy theory.

Or, rather, meet the idea of a conspiracy theory.

This is Wikipedia's definition:

A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.

And here is the definition from Dictionary.com:
[A conspiracy theory is] a theory that rejects the standard explanation for an event and instead credits a covert group or organization with carrying out a secret plot:

Did you notice the difference between the two definitions? Dictionary.com gives a fairly unbiased definition; there is no judgement given on the value of conspiracy theories, no position on whether they are right or wrong. Dictionary.com merely says that a conspiracy theory "rejects the standard explanation."

Wikileaks, being a more warded cultural artifact than Dictionary.com, introduces another idea into the concept of a conspiracy theory. The words when other explanations are more probable assume that the conspiracy theory is somehow shady or crazy, or at the very least held by stupid people with wrong ideas. And what is it that is less probable, in Wikipedia's eyes?

An explanation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation.

The idea of a conspiracy theory, by Wikipedia's definition, thus rests on the notion that most of the time, it is improbable that there should be "a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation." In other words, it's just plain unlikely that small groups of powerful people might get together in private and make political plans that don't benefit the majority of the population. It's also unlikely that small groups of powerful people would be willing to commit immoral or even illegal acts in pursuit of their goals, if they could be assured that such doings would remain private. A small group would never make malicious plans in private and then carry those plans out, to the detriment of other people, the nation, or the earth. That's crazy talk.

When you look at Dictionary.com's better definition, it states that a conspiracy theory departs from the standard explanation of an event. By that definition, the term "conspiracy theory" is a synonym for "dissenting opinion." That definition also begs the question of what makes the standard explanation standard.

In many cases, an explanation becomes "standard" when a majority of people believe it. But often that is not the case. In fact, the most famous example of the label "conspiracy theory" being applied to an event, at least in the United States, is the Kennedy assassination--and considerably more people believe in the so-called conspiracy theory about JFK's death than those who believe in Lee Harvey Oswald the lone crazy bad apple:

According to a new FiveThirtyEight-commissioned SurveyMonkey poll of 5,130 adults, conducted Oct. 17 to Oct. 20, 2017, only 33 percent of Americans believe that one man was responsible for the assassination. A majority, 61 percent, think that others were involved in a conspiracy. In pretty much every demographic, most respondents believed that Oswald didn’t act alone.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-one-thing-in-politics-most-amer...

So nearly 2/3 of Americans believe Oswald didn't act alone--yet their opinion is the conspiracy theory, and the opinion of the minority is the "standard" explanation. This reminds me of how left-wing policies which show majority support among American voters are described as dangerously extreme, while the politicians who embrace policies almost universally loathed are described as "centrist," making them the center of an imaginary bell curve--just because they say so. But, in truth, you don't need a majority to create a "standard explanation." There are two other ways you can do it. One is old-fashioned and hearkens back to both rationalism and empiricism. For instance, no matter whether a majority believes that 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has certain effects or not, it still does. It is rationally provable through an analysis of evidence.

The other way to create a "standard explanation" does not rely on evidence any more than it relies on popularity. You can create a "standard explanation" by the use of authority alone. What you do is this: take people and institutions held to be authoritative, for whatever reason, and have them repeat the explanation until it becomes standard. We just watched this happen for the past three years with Russiagate, and, before that, we saw it happen with 9/11. Both these "standard explanations" derived solely from the repetition of words by authority figures arose in response to various kinds of collective trauma. This is not accidental. It is much easier to create a standard explanation through authority alone when people are upset.

The truth is that there is no such thing as a conspiracy theory. There are only different kinds of hypotheses. These hypotheses can be good or bad, probable or improbable, rest on discoverable evidence or on faith alone. We find out which kind of hypothesis it is through discussion and debate, or through investigation and research, if more data is needed. If, after we make our judgement on the hypothesis, new data is discovered, the entire discussion can be opened again, and different judgements made. Insane or foolish ideas are winnowed out, over time, through the use of rational thought by a community. Sometimes the community discussing the matter stretches back through history. Sometimes proving or disproving a hypothesis takes decades, or even centuries.

I know about this process, you see, because I trained as a scholar. Scholars are not the only people involved in this rational process, nor should they be, but scholars are one of a few types of people whose working lives are dedicated to it. Journalists also, if they are really doing journalism, dedicate their working lives to that process, as do scientists, and sometimes even artists.

As a scholar, then, I object to the term "conspiracy theory." Its assumptions are false. There are many examples throughout history of small groups of people acting in secret to the detriment of others. It is ludicrous to assert that such behavior is so improbable as to warrant the immediate dismissal of an idea. Worse than that, the term "conspiracy theory" is what Garrett Hardin, author of Filters Against Folly, called a "conversation stopper." Its purpose is to bring an end to the discussion. Rather than trusting the community and its use of rational thought to arrive, however long it may take, at a sound conclusion, the term "conspiracy theory" cuts that process off before it can truly start. Those who use the phrase aim to quarantine certain ideas and their purveyors. They fit such notions with a leper's bell. Any who refuse to comply with the intellectual quarantine become unclean as well, and if they refuse to identify themselves as such, there will always be those willing to do so, for pleasure or for pay.

Perhaps we should remember, at this moment, someone who, albeit briefly, defeated those who wish to quarantine ideas:

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Lookout's picture

My research confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that Wikipedia

• supports repressive dictatorships

• promotes certain political candidates and attacks others

• accepts donations in return for favorable coverage

• is hostile to non-mainstream media

• suppresses holistic health information

• permits the publication of libel, maliciously and selectively

and that these problems are part of a systemic bias that reaches to the core of the platform, rendering all information it provides suspect. If ideologically-motivated actors are able to get away with epistemological murder in one subject area, it’s all but certain they are pulling off similar crimes elsewhere.

http://helenofdestroy.com/index.php/49-wikipedia-rotten-to-the-core

Chris Hedges conducted a nice interview with her...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDPrpKDjQ5U (27 min)

Might explain wiki's CT definition.

Sorry about your partner. Hope healing is rapid. All the best!

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19 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

that's some interesting stuff. Possibly material for a future essay.

Thank you also, as always, for the kind words. Kate is feeling much better. She lost something like 12 pounds in water weight.

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

good to witness edward r. murrow again, as well. i'm not a scholar, but i'd like to add this to your examination of conspiracy theories:

‘My dear, and recently departed, Washington friend, John Judge, liked to say that if you want to call him a “conspiracy theorist” you have to call others “coincidence theorists”.

~ Wm. Blum (may he rest in power)

glad to hear your partner is better now, amiga. health crises can be terrifying, esp. for the caregiver/s.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis

I'll have to remember that one!

And thank you, too, for your kind words.

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8 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

william blum is/was the journalist of the anti-empire report for those who don't know. the value of his body of work can't be overstated, i think.

but i got stuck a bit on mcCarthyism, and similar themes afoot today is #MeToo, begun by the WaPo, iirc, and one "charged by the committee", even by enough anonymous women, so many of the accused lost their jobs, families, etc. with no recourse unless they were able to face their accusers in court (and had the wherewithal, as well). the only case i remember in which that happened was actor geoffrey rush, and he was vindicated. by the by, i've always wondered where the equivalent #heToo was, as if women in positions of power don't sexually harass males.

but i remember a commenter at the café having said that it was likely that the movement would yield the opposite of whatever the hashtag's good intentions may have been. was it spawned by the Pink Pussyhat marches? i've forgotten.

the other similar example has been russia-gate, but that's reached the point of satire, and while you 'can't unring a bell', it's easy to demonstrate the many geopolitical reasons for all of that.

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Hmm...is it a conspiracy theory that you’d bring this up on the same morning my headlines are all a buzz with SHOCK and OUTRAGE that Trump retweeted a “conspiracy theory” that the Clintons had Epstein whacked. Or something like that. When I see Trump and Twitter, I tend to tune out, though I admit my complacency is causing me to be a little more out of touch with what he and the Republicans are proposing social media needs to do to fix the alleged anti-right wing basis. (As if...) That’s probably by design but whoops, I think I just conspiracy theoried.

I’ve long thought if I was a power that be, I’d leak stuff to the likes of Alex Jones and similar people regularly. Of course, there would be a high ratio of nonsense to truth. Like five “they’re turning the frogs gay” stories to one “here’s what really happened to Seth Rich.” Let those people propagate the stories while simultaneously muddying the waters by being such a unreliable source.

(I thought it was funny that they touched on this idea in Men In Black as an almost cast off joke, if you know the scene I’m thinking of.)

Glad your partner is doing better. Polycystic kidney disease runs in my family. Both my father and his mother had transplants. I know what a rough thing that is to go through.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

I switched up my essay topic for this week.

Why do any of us care which asshole pedophile oligarch had Epstein whacked? This isn't a partisan issue.

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal The difficulty of coming forward, then having this guy walk once, having people thrown this back and forth as a partisan football and now this...I just can’t imagine what hell these women are going through.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

those who have few scruples regarding the truthfulness of what they report, I think it's very likely.

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11 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

Hope things get better for everyone.

Ok, I find that the faster the words "Conspiracy Theory" are trotted out rather than a search for actual answers, we have a cover-up.

At a certain point, folks start realizing that the entire GOVERNMENT is a conspiracy. It's always the same families, the same people and the same actions. And the same, patient, paternalistic and condescending answers. Usually involving "You'll Understand when You're older". IOW, You'll understand when it's time for you to keep YOUR kids down.

So, going to go on an off topic rant about RPGs and how somebody managed to completely fuck up a setting. 7th Sea. I know I gushed about it a couple years ago... Weeeeeell... not any more. See, here's the thing. I was into the game for the setting, which was a more egalitarian version of 17th Century Europe. So far so good, right? So, over the last couple years they've been doing something a little obvious with their books.

Yup. Every other civilization IN THE WORLD is treated as being more egalitarian, more enlightened and more religiously free. Complete with Slavery being justified as "Part of the Culture". No, I'm not making that shit up. As long as the Native American and Islam analogues do it, it's OK. Everywhere else, it's the domain of evil white men who were presented as the absolute evil in previous books BECAUSE of the fact they bought slaves. Hypocrisy and editorial slant was pretty fucking obvious. When everything was papered over with "Well, it used to be bad, but now they made some reforms in the last couple years, and now they're good and happy, and totally heroes you should emulate and enjoy!" whilst ignoring MAJOR cultural issues that were defining plot points of earlier books...

The books have been demoted to bathroom readers.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

Actually, I have a lot to say about that--it has a significance well beyond the world of RPGs. To explore it in its entirety would require another essay, but the short version is: you become moral by the characteristics you were born with, not by what you do. Therefore, for instance, torture is just peachy if the first black president does it.

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal as well, they managed to fuck that up. (A lot of the romance stories are just obviously a hetero romance with the names and genders swapped.)

Yes, their Jesus analogue is now retconned to Transgender, and somehow Islam is now the one that believes in the prophet of peace, and the Crusades were started by the West... (All of this is news to me, since it's an exact inversion of the storyline from the last edition...)

I mean, if they really wanted me to stop reading, because every recent book seems to be a woke lecture... Good Job guys. I was actually kinda stoked by some of the stuff they teased in the Europe regarding a poly queen... what did they do with it? Nothing. Just typical crap about the romance having to remain secret, blah blah... nothing actually involving the dynamics of such a situation, etc. You know, stuff that requires some research beyond ten minutes with a harlequin romance novel...

Ugh. Just depressed by watching something get flushed, and realizing that it is now in the hands of the original author and this is the direction he WANTS to take it. Shudder. Somebody really hates himself.

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6 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

Europe hardly had its hands clean in terms of the Crusades. I wouldn't blame anybody in the Middle East or Northern Africa for hating the hell out of the Crusaders, or at least those in leadership positions. One always hopes that people will follow Samwise Gamgee and remember the difference between the powerful--those who start wars--and the rank-and-file--those who, often, get dragged into them (especially when they come from a feudal society).

It was Sam’s first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace—all in a flash of thought which was quickly driven from his mind.

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7 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Good thing we don't... (Looks at Israel...)

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4 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

Iraq. That looks like a Crusade to me, just one that wasn't purportedly done for Christ.

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5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal We'll go there on crusade it seems.

Only it's a crusade for cash.

A Cashaid... for Corporations.

A Corporate Cashaid... Actually that sounds about right. All American Wars are just Corporate Cashaids...

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5 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
(Cue Basil Fawlty: "You started it!" ... "No we didn't" ... "Yes you did, you invaded Poland".)

They were a marvelous political device for building unity across Christendom, while also shipping those useless fucking thugs, the knights, out of Europe so they could savage some other population. (Once the whole Viking invasion thing had eased up, there was really no remaining excuse for the existence of feudal knights. Nonetheless, they existed. And armed men with a sense of entitlement -- hell, with actual written entitlements -- with nothing much to do are going to behave quite predictably, going out and brutalizing the civilians.)

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6 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Socialprogressive's picture

Is it just me or are others here unable to access Caitlin Johnstones web page. Since yesterday all I get is a blank page when clicking on any URL for her website.

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4 users have voted.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end the faster it goes.

@Socialprogressive hmmm...

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4 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@Socialprogressive
Then close the browser, re-open it, and go to her site.

If that doesn't work and you're using a bookmark shortcut, you might need to go there via either typing the url manually instead (or finding in a Google/DuckDuckgo search), and making a new bookmark once you get there as she might have done site maintenance/updates and now the old bookmark can't find it's way.

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Socialprogressive's picture

@Deja
Cleared my browser history and restarted the computer but I'm still getting a blank page unless I enter the URL manually. All other links(google/duckduckgo/c99blogroll)all open a blank page.

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5 users have voted.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end the faster it goes.

Deja's picture

@Socialprogressive
Only other things I can think of to try are:

1. Make sure the browser is up to date (or revert back to an earlier version if it auto updates and did so recently)
2. Use a different browser altogether.

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3 users have voted.
travelerxxx's picture

@Socialprogressive

The "history" isn't the problem unless the site address has changed. It hasn't. The address is the same one I've been using for years: https://caitlinjohnstone.com

I've also had times when I absolutely could not connect with Caitlin's site. Nothing would fix it until I specifically deleted the browser cookies associated with her site. I am speaking of the address: https://caitlinjohnstone.com

I use Firefox, which makes it easy to delete specific cookies. If you happen to be using Firefox, simply go to the "Privacy and Security" settings, and under "Cookies and Site Data" select "Manage Data." A box will open where you can type: "caitlinjohnstone" Once you type that, cookies associated with her site will be shown. Select, then delete them all. Don't forget to hit "Save Changes" before you leave - don't just hit the X in the upper corner, as nothing will be changed.

This has fixed my access to her site without fail every time.

If you're using some other browser, the method will be similar, but I won't be able to help you. I'm sure someone here will know what to do to delete specific cookies with other browsers.

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4 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

moguls, Generalissimos to captains of industry and finance, Royalty to Crown Corporations like the East India Tea Company; we have been ruled, manipulated and had our affairs directed by emperors, khans and popes and their minions and surrogates, warlords and their minions, wealthy white landowning "founding fathers", and coalitions of robber barons and openly corrupt politicians and lawmen; dictators, directorates and boards of directors; Mussolini's corporates to corporations and the governments and regulatory agencies they have captured.

Would somebody be so kind as to provide me with the specific date at which our affairs ceased to be determined by cabals and conspiracies of sinister and powerful actors, inherently political in nature, working in concert to achieve some one or more self-serving purposes? When, exactly, did it stop?

On August 19, 1953, the fledgling CIA overthrew the elected government of Iran/Persia in the form of Mohammad Mosaddegh. That established the organizational culture and operational paradigm of that institution, which has become cemented over the years. Just as you cannot have a little randomness or a little police or government corruption, you cannot have, or at least cannot hope to prove you have, only a little amount of sinister conspiracies by powerful political cabals. We have one sitting at the heart of the US government and must therefore assume that it is but the tip of the iceberg.

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12 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

Would somebody be so kind as to provide me with the specific date at which our affairs ceased to be determined by cabals and conspiracies of sinister and powerful actors, inherently political in nature, working in concert to achieve some one or more self-serving purposes? When, exactly, did it stop?

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10 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

My resentment about disagreeing with official reports = ct is boundless. I cannot accept as truth a scenario that is implausible.
The prison cameras failed just as the murder/suicide occurred? The guy on the gurney resembles Epstein, but I do not accept that it is actually dead Epstein on the gurney.
And you are correct about this not being the best opportunity to blame Trump or Clinton.
The only positive to come from the "They murdered him! No, THEY murdered him!" argument is that it is now out there that the man was murdered, not a suicide. I will take any good that I can get.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@on the cusp

And I hear you. Never has it been more obvious that partisanship is being used to channel outrage away from where it belongs.

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@on the cusp

One of the things the Clintons and Trump have in common is a need to suppress, or deflect, an investigation into Epstein and his Lolita Express.

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

snoopydawg's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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8 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Anja Geitz's picture

For the sake of my sanity, I have not been following the news. Just logged on and learned about Jeffrey Epstein's death. While I don't particularly feel mournful over this human being's fate, I do feel regretful for his victims being robbed of an opportunity to face him in court and have the satisfaction of due process. At minimum, they deserved at least that.

Now that the curtain is gone from my viewpoint, it seems that the lengths TPTB are willing to go become more brazen by the day, yet I cannot fathom why others cannot see what is plainly in view?

What happened to Jeffrey Epstein? We will never know. Those in power, once again, protect their power as fiercely as a wild animal protects their food.

All we can do is speak our truth, regardless of how those in power "define" it.

So sorry to hear about your partner. It sounds very scary Sad

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Anja Geitz

than the circumstantial evidence we have now, but that circumstantial evidence is about as convincing as circumstantial evidence could be.

So, technically, we won't "know," in the sense of unassailable proof, what happened to him. But we'll always know it's highly unlikely this was a suicide, just as we know it was highly unlikely that Sandra Bland was a suicide (not that Bland is in any way comparable to Epstein).

As for which of the pieces of human refuse who regularly rode that plane decided Epstein's testimony was an unbearable threat, as I said before, who the hell cares? We know it was a wealthy, powerful person without a conscience, very likely a man (it's just possible Epstein might have taken a horrible wealthy woman with power on one of those trips, but it seems pretty unlikely).

I've never been more tempted to go back to Twitter than now. It's beyond horrific that people have decided to make this a partisan issue, when it's clear Epstein did not. Prominent people from both sides of the aisle, and outside the country, apparently partook of his offer of "entertainment."

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I meant there will be no legitimate recourse to investigate what most of us believe to be a lie. I don't believe he committed suicide either. I'm pretty sure the plaintiffs in the case against him don't believe he committed suicide. But that is the official account and any other details contradicting that will never come forward.

Ergo, we will "never know".

As for the bizarre left vs. right dichotomy surrounding Epstein's death, unless that was by design as well, I'm sure the air that is being sucked out of the room is serving the purposes of the monsters who have been abetting, and participating, in the global sex trafficking ring very conveniently, don't you think?

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10 users have voted.

Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Anja Geitz

And I didn't mean to seem like I was arguing with you. I wasn't.

Sometimes I come off like that. Sorry!

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I didn't take it that way. I just wanted to clarify what I felt I didn't in my original post. Smile

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
thinking. Once one has committed, generally, to a CT outlook, no evidence would ever suffice to persuade one otherwise, with respect to any particular event.

It took less than 24 hours for people to start doubting that JE was even dead. That doubt will never go away, and moreover, it was always going to be there. Any evidence that might be put forth can be dismissed as having been faked. Either that's not him on the gurney, or it's his head but it's photoshopped onto the gurney, or whatever, hell, maybe he's on the gurney but he's not actually dead. Had the camera not "malfunctioned", so that there was video of him hanging himself, there would still be irresolvable doubt -- was it a video faked after the event? Or even a video with him staging the event, but he didn't actually die? We aren't ever going to know, not even if somebody produces photos of him relaxing on a beach, reading a future edition of the NY Times while being fellated by a 15-year-old. For god's sake, there are a million photos of Paul McCartney from before his supposed fatal accident, and 10 million photos of him from after his supposed fatal accident, and that is not satisfactory evidence: Those determined to doubt dissect and dissect and dissect those photos, looking for features that just don't seem to match up. The reality of it, which is that it obviously is Paul McCartney -- he sings the same, looks the same, talks the same, and writes the same goddamned, immediately recognizable styles of music -- simply doesn't matter: They latch onto a corpus of curious coincidences and build their model of reality out of a doubt that such coincidences could all have actually happened.

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5 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

enhydra lutris's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Once one has committed, generally, to a CT outlook, no evidence would ever suffice to persuade one otherwise, with respect to any particular event.

sort of hinges on the word "committed" and its interpretation. If one views a particular thing alleged to be a CT as among the better or more likely hypotheses, then what you assert needn't and shouldn't occur. Too often, however, at least for many, the CT is adopted as a truth, bordering on a religious truth, and then becomes a self-sufficient self-fulfilling truth system in and of itself and is hence unassailable.

Take the Seth Richards case, for example. The police almost immediately and certainly without time for or performance of a thorough investigation, simply declared it to have been a botched robbery, because there had been other "recent" robberies "in the area". Clearly a non-explanation devoid of any intrinsic merit and seemingly designed to be unassailable by anybody without the resources to do a real investigation sufficient to turn up the killer. Hence, any and all non-impossible alternative hypotheses have equal force and credibility unless based on included intrinsically ludicrous assumptions. For people to sy "I ain't buying it" is such an obviously preferred reaction that it goes without saying, but doesn't necessarily commit them to any specific alternative, or even to perpetual rejection, should somebody actually go investigate and turn up real hard evidence that it was a botched robbery. OTOH, proponents of some sort of "it was a purchased hit, done by the cops, who are actively covering it and the real evidence up", will be guaranteed to scoff at any putative evidence "discovered" by said cops.

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris
And in particular I agree that the Seth Rich example is a good one -- the only explanation that the cops have offered up is on its face not very probable, based among other things on the rarity of the circumstances. Of all of the annual murders in the US, what fraction involve a 20-something professional white male walking home, encountering robbers, getting shot by them, and then being left there with his wallet, presumably due to them panicking? It is hard to conceive of a less-probable scenario, at least, that "serious" person would entertain. Moreover, the lack of any meaningful investigation to support an already improbable narrative means exactly what you say it means: Alternative scenarios positing an actual assassination related to Rich's involvement in the DNC email scandal are not in the least "less probable". That doesn't mean it was the Clintons specifically, or any other specific actor. We can suggest dozens of possible bad guys in this case -- but there's nothing that's generally "less probable" about the idea that somebody wanted to shut Rich down, if for no better reason than to send a warning to others. Some folk find it hard to imagine that our political organizations are corrupted by the sorts of people who, under different circumstances, would be ordinary gangsters. I'm not one of them.

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8 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

It's not inherently implausible that police might falsify information. We've seen them do it on multiple occasions (as in the OJ trial, for instance). I don't think acknowledging that fact makes one a glassy-eyed believer in aliens landing at Roswell. That fact wouldn't lead me to dismiss evidence the cops presented out of hand, but it would encourage me to view it with a skeptical eye.

In other words, such evidence wouldn't be automatically false--but it wouldn't be automatically true either.

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4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd

If the following issue, which you identify, is a problem (which it often is),

Too often, however, at least for many, the CT is adopted as a truth, bordering on a religious truth, and then becomes a self-sufficient self-fulfilling truth system in and of itself and is hence unassailable.

the problem lies in having ANY "self-sufficient self-fulfilling truth system...[which is] unassailable."

A community that uses reason will generally deal with such systems in fairly short order, far more quickly than they can determine whether the actual hypothesis (what you're calling a CT) is true or false. A community that does not use reason will be anyone's pawn. It little matters what method of manipulation is used.

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
not the driving mechanism behind people's conclusions about the historical truth of any given event.

This is why the phrase "less probable" is actually critical to the concept of CT as an irrational mode of thinking, as opposed to the more technical concept of CT as, well, exactly what it says, a theory (or perhaps, hypothesis) that some given event was the outcome of a deliberate conspiracy of actors (whether malevolent or well-intentioned or whatever).

The fault cannot be lain at the door of the media, once an individual has decided that any -- any -- apparent evidence could have been faked. That is the fault of the individual, who prefers the extraordinarily improbable explanation that the moon landing (and all the photos and video associated with it) was faked; or that Flight 77 flew away unseen from the Pentagon, while something else that nobody saw approaching slammed into the Pentagon and exploded; or that the children of Sandy Hook never existed at all; or that any and all clear evidence that the earth is a sphere is fake or falsifiable, a result of a conspiracy half-a-millenium old to really fuck with our heads. The existence of birth certificates and newspaper announcements, as well as the reminisced hearsay of remarks by the attending physician does not persuade those who insist Barack Obama was not born in Honolulu.

This kind of fucked up thinking isn't limited to conspiracy theory. For example, it is an article of faith amongst RWNJs that the real cause of the subprime mortgage meltdown was the Carter-era legislation that forced banks to make bad loans to people, mainly based on the color of their skin, who didn't deserve them and could not afford them. If you provide such a RWNJ with the straightforward statistics showing that this could not possibly be the case, you will be told straight up that anyone could make those numbers up. There is no way to source those stats so as to get that person to shut up for a moment, then look embarrassedly at the ground, shuffle their stupid feet, and admit that the anti-redlining and related regulations had not one damned thing to do with the subprime meltdown.

There is no getting around it. There is nothing -- NOTHING -- that could ever be printed in the media that would change the minds of those who are now certain that the towers were brought down by controlled demolition. Nothing. That's not because the press has been reluctant to print information, it's because various folks have been eager to print confounding information that either cannot be gainsaid, or the gainsaying of which makes no impression upon the faithful.

I have this same problem with the JFK assassination. There are dozens of competing theories about who killed JFK and why. Every single one of these theories acts, not just as a refutation of the "standard narrative", but as a refutation of every single one of the other competing nonstandard narratives. But this doesn't occur to people. Instead each competing alternative narrative is seen as one more compelling argument that the standard narrative is a lie. In fact, epistemologically, exactly the opposite is true -- the existence of dozens of competing alternative narratives renders each of them increasingly improbable. (This is almost exactly the same epistemological point that Dawkins is making in his classic, "We're both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do," formula.)

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3 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@UntimelyRippd

There is no getting around it. There is nothing -- NOTHING -- that could ever be printed in the media that would change the minds of those who are now certain that the towers were brought down by controlled demolition. Nothing. That's not because the press has been reluctant to print information, it's because various folks have been eager to print confounding information that either cannot be gainsaid, or the gainsaying of which makes no impression upon the faithful.

That's why I ask for direct evidence as often as I do. No direct evidence, no treatment of theory as fact.

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2 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

snoopydawg's picture

@UntimelyRippd

There is absolutely no evidence that the towers were brought down by bombs and not the planes that flew into them. Except for the many firemen who heard explosions at building 7 that wasn't hit by any planes, fell in its own footprint and was reported down across the pond 20 minutes before it actually fell which is verified by more than one video. I'm curious though why you keep harping on flight 77? Don't you think you have made your point more than enough? It's in your sigline that people read every time you comment here. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. Others should be entitled to theirs.

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5 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg
of the discourse that surrounds the concept of CT. It doesn't seem inappropriate to me to go into further detail on one of the very specific instances that represents for me a crystal clear case in point. Look at your own response. You also have done this again and again: I say, "Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon," and you say, "What about Building 7?" as if I had said anything that has anything to do with Building 7. It is a first-class example of the kind of deflection that I've described elsewhere. Couldn't you just as well have said, "I agree, Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, but of course, that in no ways affects my opinion about Building 7"? (Unless, of course, you don't agree, and you think that Flight 77 did NOT hit the Pentagon. In which case, you're wrong. Also, the earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere. And Paul McCartney lives.)

And that is why I keep harping on Flight 77: because it is a litmus test. There's no point in discussing what happened to the Trade Center, if it is not an accepted stipulation that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, because anybody who thinks Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon has left reason behind. The buzz of CT surrounding Flight 77 is a perfect example of people desperately hunting for alternative explanations when none are necessary. Flight 77 illustrates how CT thinking can manufacture any amount of doubt, and any number of alternative scenarios, for even the most straightforward events -- and what is more, will do so, just because.

The cognitive model runs something like this: Bob thinks to himself, "Hmmm. There are details in the Twin Tower attacks that just don't add up for me. (...research...research...research...) Yeah, I don't like the looks of this at all. I'm pretty sure we're not getting the true story. In fact, I'm starting to think that not only was the attack orchestrated by our own government, I think they demolished the buildings with explosives. Hmmm."

Okay, so far so good. I don't happen to agree with the conclusion, having reviewed pretty much the same evidence and arguments as Bob (and maybe more -- including, for example, going and reading engineering papers about the characteristics of thermite/thermate reactions, and of molten aluminum, and so on -- but whatever), but I'm not going to tell Bob that he's just wrong and I'm just right.

But when Bob starts investigating Flight 77, and comes back making flat-out incorrect assertions of fact, drawing firm conclusions from the fuzziest of speculations, and simply disregarding any and all physical evidence, while positing a particularly bizarre and pointless conspiratorial undertaking that would be almost impossible to carry off and would serve absolutely no clear purpose within the context of his proposed larger alternative 9/11 conspiracy theory -- well, what is anyone to make of that? The only thing I can make of it is that Bob isn't thinking clearly anymore. If I can't persuade Bob that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, I have no reason to think that I can persuade Bob of any damned thing, not even his own name; moreover, I now doubt anything and everything that Bob has to say about ... anything and everything.

It's that simple. I have never told you that your conclusion that the destruction of Building 7 was controlled demolition is not true. I think you're wrong, but my confidence isn't high enough to dismiss your view, or take you to task for how you came to that conclusion. On this question, I live and let live. I'm not sure I've ever even directly addressed Building 7 in anything I've ever written here. I don't have a whole lot to say about it. I think it probably collapsed due to the damage it sustained from falling material and from internal fires. If it was demolished, well ... I've not heard any satisfactory explanation of why. And that's just about all I've got to say about that.

But anyone who says Flight 77 didn't hit the Pentagon is talking crazy talk, and I'm not going to politely pretend otherwise, anymore than I will politely pretend otherwise if someone says that AGCC is just a hoax cooked up by climatologists to pad their research budgets and/or work out their pointy-headed hatred for freedom, god, V8 engines and the American way.

up
1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd

that differ from the standard explanation makes all competing theories more improbable? Does it not make the standard explanation more improbable as well, by your argument?

In fact, the existence of multiple theories doesn't make any one theory--or all of them--less probable. Any more than the existence of multiple theories makes an argument more probable.

What makes a hypothesis more or less probable is, first, evidence, and then (much less important but not insignificant) logic.

In other words, the idea that Oswald didn't act alone doesn't get more or less probable depending on how many different things people thought might have happened instead.

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal And from the anti-CT poster, "Every single one of these theories acts, not just as a refutation of the "standard narrative", but as a refutation of every single one of the other competing nonstandard narratives." Not true. In JFK, many/most of the competing nonstandard hypotheses are merely variations on the same theme -- e.g., a) a conspiracy involving 2 shooters, masterminded by the CIA; b) 3 shooters via CIA, c) 4 shooters CIA arranged, d) multiple shooters arranged by the CIA and military brass in coordination, and so on.

As to CTists being too emotionally wedded to their theories, forming unshakable beliefs, the same could be said of the anti-CTists who might tend, one might gently say, to be too accepting of the Official Story. No subsequent contradicting evidence or logic can reach them -- they have decided the nine august men of impeccable stature have produced a magisterial report that will stand forever like the rock of Gilbraltar. And all you liberals: how could anyone doubt the word and wisdom of the liberal-minded honest man who engineered that great set of liberal decisions by the Sup Ct? A thorough 900 page devastating Report, backed by 26 volumes of evidence -- some mighty impressive numbers. Uncle Walter Cronkite believed it. What more do you need?

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5 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@wokkamile  
who spearheaded the concentration-camp idea? That guy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_Americans

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3 users have voted.

@lotlizard but as a liberal, you were only supposed to associate him with the good stuff, those liberal decisions on the Court.

In fact, those 9 men of impeccable credentials were kinda counting on most liberals not knowing about that one thing he did back in CA a long time ago, all that nasty business. And it was helpful on that score that there was no Google back then, iirc ...

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3 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wokkamile

of how doing one horrible thing doesn't mean you won't do any good things--and doing good things doesn't mean you won't do a horrible thing.

I am beyond stumped as to why FDR and Warren thought all this was a good idea (I mean, yeah, they confiscated property, but it's not like they needed the money!) It seems to me that, even if you didn't give a shit about people's human rights, you might be concerned, if you were high up in the government, about not having the home front degenerate into chaotic violence. And it could have, particularly in CA.

It's not exactly a nice stabilizing thing to do for your society while you're facing one of the greatest threats you ever will face. And it certainly does nothing for your reputation to engage in activities that are startlingly similar to those of your enemy, the man you're touting as an existential threat to the world.

(And yes, of course Hitler was such a threat--but that's all the more reason not to undermine yourself by starting racially-based relocation camps. Why not call them ghettos and call it a day? You could hardly tell the difference.

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1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
All else being equal -- which is never the case, but hey -- each competing theory should indeed lessen the likelihood of all other theories, across the board.

But in a world where the alternative theories are built on a scaffold of supposedly improbable coincidences, things are no longer equal. Imagine that I posit Theory A, which is based, among other things, on 10 coincidences that I assert are extremely improbable, if they are not in fact causally linked by their significance in The Event. You come along and posit Theory B, which is based, among other things, on 10 different coincidences that You assert are extremely improbable, if they are not in fact causally linked by their significance in The Event. Imagined further that our coincidences "exclusive" in the sense that if my Coincidence 7 is in the causal chain of The Event, then your Coincidence 3 is excluded from the causal chain of The Event.

Well, now we've got a problem, because we're both claiming that only witless fool would believe that our separate sets of coincidences could be mere chance -- could in fact be anything other than convincing proof of our own particular Theory. Yet, at least one of us is entirely mistaken.

up
1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
Bland case and the Epstein case is that we can imagine (and hope) that at some point in the future -- maybe decades -- somebody might come forward and tell us what really happened to Bland. Maybe a deathbed confession, or some hearsay that comes around and leads to an investigation that brings the truth to light. (I'm thinking now about something like the case of Helen Betty Osborne, which I've mentioned here before. Somebody either cracks, or just lets something slip after too many beers at a picnic or something.)

That ain't gonna happen in the Epstein case. As you say, we'll never know more than we know right now.

up
8 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd

That's the yin to the yang of smearing people online as conspiracy theorists--the news and the political establishment do all they can to deny us hard data and anything approaching real evidence. That makes it far easier to say that people are conspiracy theorists, much like asking the children of Israel to make bricks with no straw.

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
Who is denying us evidence about Sandy Hook? Who is denying us evidence about Las Vegas? Who is denying us evidence about the moon landing? Who is denying us evidence about the shape of the earth? Who is denying us evidence about Anthropogenic Global Climate Change?

In the case of mass shootings, it often seems like the person denying us evidence is the perpetrator, who either kills himself or opts to go down fighting. How can that possibly be addressed? The Vegas shooter left no fucking explanation. I don't see how he could have been taken alive unless he chose to surrender, and managed to do so in the split second after the cops came in the door (and would you, as a cop, have done anything other than shoot at anything that was moving in that room?). Had he wanted to tell his story, he could have stopped shooting, gone out into the hallway and lain spread-eagled on his stomach, and waited for SWAT to arrive. Or recorded a video. Or whatever.

Instead, what we're going to be faced with now is a never-dying alternative narrative in which there were additional shooters, and the guy identified by the cops wasn't even really the perpetrator, maybe wasn't even there, etc. etc. etc. What amount of public transparency could ever have thwarted these alternative narratives? Because here's the thing: The bullets had hardly stopped flying before people on this board were suggesting conspiracy.

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3 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd

they have little reason to deny us evidence about Sandy Hook, for instance.

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
anyway, which is the point I was trying to make.

People believe this nonsense whether or not they have reasonable access to evidence supporting a coherent highly probably narrative.

up
1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd

is a spectacularly untrustworthy institution, it creates BOTH an atmosphere in which people are more likely to become conspiracy theorists (your term), and also an atmosphere in which it's extremely easy to accuse people of becoming conspiracy theorists.

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5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd

that the earth is flat, that there was no moon landing, etc., are comparatively few in number, and I feel no need to call their weird beliefs a "conspiracy theory." They're just old-fashioned wrong.

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7 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
All of those are conspiracy theories, so I find your dis-classification of them as such to be puzzling, even disconcerting. By discounting them, you've just privileged exactly and only the CT that doesn't make you think, "Yeah, that's nuts." But ... how is that choice made exactly? I think that believing Flight 77 didn't hit the Pentagon is on exactly the same epistemological footing as believing that the Earth is flat (you cannot believe the earth is flat without believing that a LOT of people are working hard to make you think otherwise), or that the Zionists invented the whole Holocaust thing to gain sympathy for their ugly little project in Palestine.

And as far as I can tell the cognitive processes and rhetorical approaches that lead to Holocaust denial, or moon-landing denial, or McCartney is alive denial, are exactly the same as the ones that lead to all of the more mainstream CTs (JFK, Birtherism, 9/11 Trutherism, AGCC denialism, Russiagate, etc.).

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2 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd
I don't have to know the details of the plot to assassinate Pres. Kennedy to prove a conspiracy. I have to have substantial evidence that there was more than one shooter. The 3 doctors in Dallas who briefly tried to save the life of the president said, recorded on film, that the shot that killed him hit in the front of the head. That alone does it. Not one person in the car agreed with Warren Commission. John Conally and his wife said it didn't happen that way. They were both avid hunters. Conally said he and Kennedy were hit by separate shots. He said there were more fragments left in his arm than were missing from the magic bullet. The Secret Service Agent in the right front seat said there were a barrage of shots and at least one came from the front. But hey, the government says so.

I don't know what to make of 9-11. If I were flying a wide bodied plane for the first time and targeting the Pentagon I would have aimed for the inner rings where the top brass are located. Instead the pilot allegedly flew over the Pentagon and made a high speed, low altitude turn that a number of professional pilots doubted they could make and flew the plane into a section of the outer ring that was recently renovated and nearly empty.

While you're debunking 9-11 CTs you might explain how a British reporter announced that building 7 collapsed hours after buildings 1 and 2 but 20 minutes before it actually collapsed.

In order to prove a conspiracy you don't need to know the details of the conspiracy. You need to prove something other than the official report is more likely.

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10 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@FuturePassed
I agree w/you as well.

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9 users have voted.

@Deja
Okay.

Do you agree with this statement?

If I were flying a wide bodied plane for the first time and targeting the Pentagon I would have aimed for the inner rings where the top brass are located.

Oh, look. He knows what he would do. Because he knows what it's like to fly a jetliner at 450 miles an hour, 5000 feet off the ground, trying to hit a building, with his own annihilation the imminent and inevitable outcome. Because he's done that so many times. I guess he also knows that the pilot was aiming for the ground in front of the building, and not for the top.

Instead the pilot allegedly flew over the Pentagon

Do you agree with that statement? Who alleges that the pilot first flew over the Pentagon? That's not what the NTSB analysis of the flight recorder reported. To the contrary, it shows the plane performing the turn before reaching the Pentagon.

and made a high speed, low altitude turn that a number of professional pilots doubted they could make and flew the plane into a section of the outer ring that was recently renovated and nearly empty.

The doubts of the a number of professional pilots notwithstanding (there are many other professional pilots who do not share that doubt), the pilot of the aircraft had no choice but to execute that high speed, low altitude turn, because if he hadn't he would have flown over the Pentagon. 3.5 miles out, the plane was about 5000 feet up and descending at 50 feet per second. I'm not sure about its speed at this point, because they hadn't fully ramped it up, and it isn't explicitly mentioned in the summary. If they were going 360 mph, they would have covered the 3.5 miles in less than 40 seconds. Instead, they made a wide turn, dropping 3000 feet, before straightening out, aiming squarely at the building, and opening the throttles all the way.
Hitting any other face of the Pentagon would have required additional maneuvering. They hit the one that was in front of them as they returned to DC after taking over the plane. The reference to the ring being renovated and nearly empty are classic CT coincidence-finding. Not only does it prove nothing, it means nothing, unless you're just on a hunt for anything at all.

Do you really agree with this statement?

In order to prove a conspiracy you don't need to know the details of the conspiracy. You need to prove something other than the official report is more likely.

That's a very peculiar use of the word "prove" (in the first usage). I certainly do not agree with it, as the conclusion of his statement. As to the second usage, when laying out explanatory scenarios in which various component probabilities are unknown, "proving" that something is more or less likely than something else is going to be mainly a matter of embedding your biases in whatever seat-of-the-pants, informal calculation you're doing. In other words, the second usage of the word "prove" is also rather peculiar, since such a proof is invariably impossible.

Not sure how to characterize agreement or disagreement with a rhetorical challenge, but I'm happy to simply throw it out to the crowd: Would anybody care to hazard a narrative that satisfies the commenter's demand?

While you're debunking 9-11 CTs you might explain how a British reporter announced that building 7 collapsed hours after buildings 1 and 2 but 20 minutes before it actually collapsed.

up
1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Deja's picture

@UntimelyRippd
The minute you said you believe the official narrative, way upthread, you fucking lost me. You can write another diatibe, but you lost me as a supporter of your "theory" that basically anyone who doesn't buy what you're selling is a blithering idiot who drank some type of idiot koolaid, instead of agreeing with everything you say.

If a plane hit the goddamned Pentagon, then where is the footage, that a building as important as the Pentagon has? Where is the footage of surrounding businesses? Why tf were they conveniently doing construction or remodelling ex-fucking-actly where the "plane" hit?

This is what I mean by your binary view, that I've stated in prior disagreements with you. It's either how you see it, or you're dealing with a science-denying kook.

Just because there isn't irrefutable evidence that something happened a certain way, this time or that, doesn't mean it's bullshit. Just like the absence of concrete evidence doesn't mean that your theory about said incident is correct. Come on, man.

I get that it's incredibly difficult for you to accept, but you are not going to have concrete evidence, 100% of the time, ESPECIALLY if you put all your faith in what the official narrative is -- and that includes so-called "scientific experts" some of whom have obviously been bought. Tobacco, anyone? Yet you'll probably deny that as well.

Have a good one!

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5 users have voted.

@Deja
to agree with? Am I even allowed to agree that jetliners hit the towers? Hey, maybe the towers never fell at all! That's part of the official narrative!

If you think Flight 77 did NOT hit the Pentagon, then you are as delusional as a Flat Earther. If that hurts your feelings, if that pisses you off because it's condescending, well, TFB: I'll condescend to Flat Earthers, and I'll condescend to a AGCC denialists, and I'll condescencd to Flight 77 denialists because they are all being willfully, insistently, ludicrously and -- here's the part that really offends -- indignantly wrong. If you think Flight 77 did NOT hit the Pentagon, then you are impervious to evidence that violates your emotional needs. "WHERE'S THE VIDEO??!?!?!?!?" you rage. Well, I've got a better question: Where's the video of the plane leaving DC, after miraculously not flying into the Pentagon, despite having been seen flying into the Pentagon. Why doesn't that bother you? Wow, David Copperfield, you really amazed us this time!

This is what I mean when I say things like, "Nothing -- no evidence of any kind -- would ever satisfy people who have already decided that the Towers were brought down by planted explosives." I know this, because they've already demonstrated their intransigence in the matter of Flight 77: Rather than accept the overwhelming positive evidence that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, they glom onto a few instances of negative evidence (many of them lies to begin with) and obsess over them, as if they invalidate all that other, inconvenient positive evidence.

What evidence of anything could ever persuade such persons, when the plain, well-disseminated, very abundant and clear physical evidence of Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon can be somehow weirdly undercut by the mere absence of a Pentagon video discernibly showing an AA 757 plowing into the southeast wall? Hundreds of witnesses saw the plane flying directly at the Pentagon, followed by a tremendous explosion. Dozens of witnesses actually saw the plane hit. Pieces of the plane -- including many slabs of the fuselage, one of them a large sheet with the American Airlines logo on it -- were scattered over the grounds, and can be seen in various photographs as the site was being cleaned up. Eyewitnesses saw the bodies of the victims, still in their seats, dead in the rubble. How much more evidence do you want? The magnitude of the conspiracy to successfully pull off such a scheme is absurd, because you'd need the cooperation of everyone who claimed to see the plane hit the building, everyone who saw the plane fly away from DC but hasn't come forward to tell us, everyone involved in the emergency response, everyone involved in the cleanup, everyone involved in the NTSB analysis, everyone involved in spiriting the plane away, never to be seen anywhere by anyone,everyone whose family and friends were supposedly on Flight 77 and have never been seen again (I mean, except for their bodies) -- hundreds and hundreds of people: And all for what purpose? Please explain to me -- by which I mean, offer me any remotely plausible reason -- why anyone would attempt to create and execute such an exotic scheme instead of just hijacking a jetliner and flying it into the building?

Yes, there's certainly gaslighting going on in the case of Flight 77, but it's coming from the kooks and the con artists who are telling you that what obviously did happen, did not happen. That is textbook gaslighting. It's all manufactured doubt, speculative nonsense about whether the pilot could have made the turn, or could have controlled the plane on approach to the building, or what could possibly have caused that round hole in one of the inner rings (Answer: The landing gear), or why weren't the engines found (Answer: many components of the engines were found), or why weren't there big pieces of airplane all over the lawn (Answer: there were, as well as little itty bits of aluminum from the wings embedded all over the external walls, but they don't happen to be easily visible in the one photograph that the loony fuckwits insist on presenting as the first, last and once and future photograph of the lawn after the strike), or blah blah blah blah blah fucking blah. It is odiously comparable to the epistemological approach of the AGCC denialists -- just keep throwing out "what about what about what about" (forcing the scientists to carefully investigate every imaginable other fucking thing that might conceivably be happening) while resolutely ignoring the mountains of data and theoretical calculations that predict AGCC; only to be told, every single time, that whatever it is isn't happening, or isn't happening at a magnitude big enough to matter -- which doesn't stop them from treating the straightforward, clear, well-understood, originally-postulated-125-years-ago interpretation of the situation as some comical invention by pointy-headed commie weirdos hellbent on taking away your Ford F250.

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1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@FuturePassed @FuturePassed

worked out in order recognize a big stinking pile of bullshit when I smell it.

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6 users have voted.

@FuturePassed
A. I didn't take a stand on the JFK assassination. I pointed out a fundamental epistemological problem regarding the cloud of competing conspiracy theories that buzzes around the event.

B. I didn't take a stand on alternative 9/11 conspiracy theories in general. I've taken a stand on one specific domain of alternative 9/11 conspiracy theories -- and I've explicitly noted that the stand I've taken on that one domain does not impinge in any way whatsoever on any other aspect of the 9/11 conspiracy theories. I have no idea what Building 7 has to do with Flight 77. Oh, wait, yes I do: Not. One. Damned. Thing.

Which illustrates another characteristic of the CT mindset: The curious attitude that because certain things are not explained, unrelated and easily debunkable claims about certain other things should be regarded as being still, maybe, possibly true. I can pick through various 9/11 truther claims and slice and dice many of them into little bits. People have done so, repeatedly. Once it has been done, those putting forth the alternative 9/11 conspiracy theories should fucking stop repeating those fully debunked arguments. To do otherwise demonstrates contempt for both the truth, and for the intelligence of one's interlocutor. Nonetheless, it is what the proponents of alternative CT do. Indeed, they do it in both directions, piling up "anomalies" to create an overall gestalt sense that "something isn't right here"; as each anomaly is picked apart under the lens of reason, the theorist simply goes along as if it had not been, as if that component is still lending support to the CT edifice. It's maddening. Fine, you think JFK was murdered by multiple assassins firing from different places. That doesn't mean that a photograph of somebody who is not GHW Bush magically becomes a photograph of GHW Bush. Nonetheless, I have seen it stated right here on c99p, authoritatively, that GHW Bush was in Dallas that day, based so far as I know one somebody saying, "Hey! Look! That's a photo of GHW Bush!" and a lot of other people saying, "Hey! Yeah! You're right." What next, Satanic messages in Led Zep songs played backwards (another conspiracy theory, BTW, supported by exactly the same sorts of epistemology as we observe in others)?

I don't know what the hell exactly happened prior to 9/11 or on 9/11, who was involved, and how far the truth deviates from what we've been told, but I do know that:
A. Most of the falsifiable claims made by alternative theorists have indeed been debunked.
B. Of the non-falsifiable claims, most represent nothing but the interpretive opinions of people.
The only specific point I will respond to is that no 9/11 truther has ever provided me with a narrative, coherent or otherwise, that leads from a group of conspirators planning and carrying out the 9/11 attacks as a false flag, including the planned demolition of building 7, to the erroneous BBC report of building 7's collapse, 20 minutes prior to the actual event. I'm not saying that the narrative is less probable than the rather obvious one -- that in the confusion some reporter somewhere was told, or thought they heard, that the severely damaged building had collapsed. I'm saying that I've never seen any such narrative. Instead people just state the fact, as if the rest of the story fills itself in. Well, it doesn't. Mistaken reports happen all the time, particularly during breaking news stories of great significance. I still remember Frank Reynolds losing his temper over the conflicting reports he was receiving after Reagan was shot.
Note: I'm not saying anything about whether Building 7 was deliberately demolished, so don't bother unloading a litany of arguments that it was. I'm only saying that the report on the BBC isn't evidence of any goddamned thing at all.

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2 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd
you weren't going to take an interest in any of my opinions anymore.

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0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd

I just noticed that you asked who was denying us evidence about anthropogenic climate change. Given that Exxon knew about it in 1982, doesn't it seem that all sorts of people were denying us that evidence for almost a decade?

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
who declined to share it -- in fact they did worse, they subsidized an entire cottage industry of denialism.

Nonetheless, the public always had access to the truth, as best it was known -- it was never withheld in the media. Eventually, when the CT denialism became effective enough, you did get loony tunes republican politicians working to muzzle the scientists, which was quite a strange thing to witness, but that was after the fact, after the CT denialism had been raging for decades, even. Before that, the closest thing you had was GHWB saying, "more research is needed", which might even have had some small element of truth in it.

The people who bought into the denialist narrative did so because they were ideologically inclined towards it, and so accepted uncritically the "evidence" they were given supporting the hoax narrative. That is the kind of CT thinking that I see all across the political spectrum and across subject matter, and I find it very, very disappointing.

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4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

share :

Elitists Roll Out “Stop Rebelling And Support Biden, You Insolent Little Shits” Campaign
. . .

"The former vice president is about one click away from coming right out and saying “Vote for me, because fuck you that’s why.” And elitist establishment narrative managers are already essentially saying it for him."

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/08/04/elitists-roll-out-stop-rebelling...

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11 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@entrepreneur

I hope they do just that. It's what they think anyway.

Of course it will just be used as a way to elevate Warren (their backup choice) but still, let's pull the curtain off this shitshow.

How many people identified with Toto in this scene?

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10 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@entrepreneur and I wish them the same success with Biden in 2020.

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9 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

is built out of:
A. Observations of coincidence, which are hilariously easy to find if one looks closely at any event of significance.
B. Presumptive doubts about the motivations of various actors: "Why would he ...?" and "Who would ever ..." and "If I were in that situation ...". Such doubts are fundamentally meaningless. The belief that we know what goes on in other people's heads is always perilous, as is the belief that we know what we ourselves would do under circumstances we've never actually encountered.
C. Statements that begin with "It makes sense that ...", or "I wouldn't be surprised if ...". Neither of these are proof of anything other than the biases of the speaker.
D. Broken technical arguments about what is and is not physically possible or did or did not happen, including dubious interpretations of photographs of physical evidence (I was bemused a few weeks ago when I finally saw the supposed photos of GHW Bush in Dallas, given that the person in the photos doesn't look very much like GHW Bush).
E. Exhaustive laundry lists of the history and acquaintances of individuals, often individuals of whom I haven't heard; it's effectively impossible to verify most of these claims -- the most common of which being the assertion that A is/was and operative of this/that agency. (There's often a heavy dose of coincidence here as well -- A's brother-in-law worked at the consulting firm where B was a partner etc etc etc).
F. The ideology of the person positing the CT.

None of such arguments constitute actual evidence, proof of anything at all. Moreover, anyone who has ever tried realizes pretty quickly that using such tools you can construct an infinite number of "alternative" explanations to anything and everything that happens in human society. This is precisely the point at which terms like "probable" and "improbable" and "less probable" and "possible" and "impossible" become epistemologically functional. CTs tend to be built out of dozens and dozens of components, each of which is itself relatively probable or improbable or possible or impossible or whatever. Often, the components are themselves empirically exclusive -- if A happened then B could not have happened; or if Alice fired the gun, then Bob did not -- but that doesn't stop the conspiracist from throwing both into what is actually an incoherent mix of explanations that do not result in a single coherent narrative. Rather, they are all just small little possibilities that throw small little doubts upon the "standard narrative," adding up to a great big doubt based on a foundation that cannot stand.

Something that happens again and again in the tedious process of arguing with someone putting forth a CT is that you demolish one of their claims, but ten minutes later they pretend that you haven't: Either it comes back around in the same form, or it reenters implicitly in the assertion of a new claim that has no strength -- or even meaning, in some cases -- unless the demolished claim is also true. And if not ten minutes later, you can be confident that you'll see them using it again ten days later in a dialogue with someone else.

This is precisely the reason why I list the AA Flight 77 Pentagon strike in my current "signature" (which for any readers in the future, when my signature has changed, states, among other things, "On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon."). Denying this is a classic example of people grabbing onto a much less probable explanation for an event (the explosion and fire at the Pentagon), an explanation that in fact makes no goddamned sense at all.
This bizarre alternative explanation exists for one reason only: To bolster the broader conspiracy claims concerning the 9/11 attacks. It's just people looking for any and every possible thing that might conceivably give weight to the larger conspiracy theory. It isn't remotely necessary to any broader conspiracy narrative; it is not supported by one single datum of actual positive evidence; it is contradicted by an overwhelming supply of actual positive evidence; and, finally, it collapses at the very foundation of its existence.
It would be a ludicrously risky and difficult con job to execute, when compared with simply doing what was, in fact, actually done: A passenger jet was hijacked shortly after leaving the local airport, turned around, and flown into the building. Even in the realm of normal conspiracy thinking elucidated above in this comment, it fails items B and C, turning the usual phrases on their heads: Why wouldn't they have used a jetliner (which is what they did)?; I sure as hell wouldn't attempt to execute such a complex -- realistically, impossible, given the number of eyewitnesses -- gaslighting scheme; It makes no sense at all; and I would be very surprised if anyone else had thought to undertake it. It. Is. Ridiculous.

Meanwhile, the popularity of "false flag" arguments to explain every bad thing that happens is getting out of hand; the extreme dubiousness of such views is best illustrated by the fact that opposing false flag purposes are often suggested, by opposing ideologies, for the same event. Subtle psyops objectives are speculated, not for any particular reason, but only because the speculators no longer consider the less probable to be less probable; to the contrary, any narrative that doesn't incorporate malicious actors amongst the power elite is understood to be itself improbable. In such a state of mind any doubter, regardless of ideology, can construct a false-flag narrative.

Just yesterday or the day before, the notion was refloated here that the Las Vegas slaughter was something other than what it seemed to be on the surface. Someone said it didn't smell right. Well how the hell could it smell right? Here's a useful epistemological exercise: Suspend your suspicions for just a moment, and then construct your own fictional narrative of the event beginning only with the premise that it really was a lone shooter with psychopathic motivations. Permit yourself a few branches in the narrative here and there. In the end, ask yourself this simple question: Under what conceivable conditions would you yourself not be able to ferret out strange smells in the narratives you've produced?

Someone else pointed out that the target was a C&W festival, suggesting that the whole thing was a false flag to make white people (especially conservative white people) feel like the targets. Well, here's the problem with that kind of thinking: The shooter had to shoot up some kind of festival, and in the aftermath the "argument" becomes both trivial and inevitable: "These festivals are attended by demographic X. I bet this was a false-flag psyop intended to fuck with members of demographic X." It isn't an argument at all, really, it's more of a tautology. You've decided a priori that it was a false flag, and now you're just filling in the blanks of a Mad Lib.

Meanwhile, the observers reject the perfectly reasonable explanation: A guy who was clearly not all there, with a long history of peculiar behavior and a well-documented fascination (obsession, even) with acquiring guns, decided to make his fucking mark, because that's something that a certain sort of psycho does. But now, for example, if I suggest that he was just following in the footsteps of Charles Whitman, somebody with a psyops mindset is going to try to tell me that Whitman was himself part of MK-ULTRA or some other psyop, that his grandfather hung out with the Dulles brothers back in the day, that UT was prime recruiting territory for the CIA, etc. etc. There's simply no coming back out of the rabbit hole.

None of it has any epistemological weight at all. If there really is a psyop going at anything like the level so many suspect, I claim that it has succeeded, precisely because so many people now immediately suggest that any bad thing is actually some sort of psyop.

The world is full of crazy people. It turns out that it's not that hard to become crazy. We are almost all susceptible to extremely delusional thinking -- after all, we are almost all susceptible to falling into infatuated love, which produces some very striking, very common, very repeatable patterns of delusional thinking. Yesterday, somebody posted a video clip of a conspiracy theorist named (maybe) Dr. Steven Pieczenik (pronounced puh-CHEN-nick). Everything I know about this guy, I know from googling around and from reading his Wikipedia entry -- which mostly looks like a series of short claims about himself that he typed in himself. He claims to have done/seen/been all sorts of remarkable things. If it's all true -- if even most of it is true -- he's a very remarkable guy, with an extraordinary intelligence.
And you know what? It doesn't fucking matter, because he's either completely mad, or a pathological liar with a serious hatred for civilization; quite likely he's more than a little of both. He was one of the lunatics who posited that Sandy Hook was some kind of false flag or hoax or something other than what it quite clearly was -- a seriously troubled young man whose dumbass mom gave him access to guns went and shot up an elementary school just to show everyone that he could, just to hold that power of life and death right there in the comfy accommodation of his hand to the grip of the weapon.
Piecznik's an AGCC denier, of the more conspiratorial inclination -- the scientists are not only wrong, but they know they're wrong, it's all a deliberate hoax. He asserts that the Germanic "Windsors" were originally pro-Hitler, until Churchill saved the day. (This is standard Lyndon Larouche style bullshit, did you know that Queen Elizabeth runs the biggest heroin operation in Europe? There were exactly two Windsors who ever exhibited any sympathy towards Hitler in particular or Germany in general -- The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who had been effectively exiled by their royal relatives. The family itself had lost its affection for its German roots well before 1914.) Etc. etc. etc. Anybody can go on youtube and start blathering out crazy talk, and that includes people with all kinds of credentials that you might hope would have inoculated them against delusional thinking, but guess what: That's not how our brains work.

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5 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Etc. etc. etc. Anybody can go on youtube and start blathering out crazy talk, and that includes people with all kinds of credentials that you might hope would have inoculated them against delusional thinking, but guess what: That's not how our brains work.

Diablo

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2 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@UntimelyRippd
were the ones that said there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Do you realize that some of them still believe it?

And there were people who for years cast doubt on J. Edgar Hoover's insistence that there was no such thing as the mafia. How could they do this to that honorable man?

It's just possible that people would find conspiracy theories less attractive if the government lied less often.

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10 users have voted.

@FuturePassed
anything that I've said.

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Big Al's picture

in a derogatory manner. Course, they probably think the reverse, such is life. But usually those that use it, usually selectively, rely on the government version of events which at this point is laughable. Like 9/11. That's really laughable. In fact, 9/11 shows how strong the term is as a conversation stopper. It cannot be discussed at the national level by our politicians at all, not at all. That should tell people something.
What if the litmus test from the so called left was for a politician to demand a truly independent investigation of 9/11 and the aftermath. Why not? But instead, it shows how brainwashed and afraid most people are to challenge the establishment.

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13 users have voted.

from my larger argument.

A whole lot of people now believe that whoever did write the plays we ascribe to William Shakespeare, it wasn't the guy from Stratford named William Shakespeare, about whom we know almost nothing, interestingly.

I admit, I have my own doubts. But here's the problem: There are several competing narratives as to who actually did write the plays. Every single one of them is based entirely on inference from collections of coincidences and "arguments from the possible" -- ie., this particular candidate could possibly have written the plays. Many such narratives are disturbingly compelling, if you read them in isolation.

But what if you read them in the aggregate? Now you have a curious problem. The "It Wasn't William Shakespeare" gang all take two simultaneous attacks:
A. There's startlingly little evidence that Shakespeare did write the plays -- little beyond his name on the published folios, really -- and there's also startlingly little evidence that he possessed the genius or the education to have done so."
B. Given A, Candidate X, on the other hand, must have been the author, because blah blah blah.

The difficulty is that claim A suddenly seems a lot weaker when there isn't one particular individual who "clearly" wrote the plays. When there are five or six ... well, suddenly it starts to look like the necessary skills weren't quite as unique as claim A tries to make it seem.

As I said, I have some doubts myself. The whole situation makes little sense ... here was this guy, writing these plays that people must have understood were not the usual fare ... yet, not much got said about the plays or their author in whatever documents have survived. Not in diaries, or in legal documents, or business records, or anywhere. So what the hell? How do we make sense of it? I don't know the answer. I don't know who wrote the damned plays. Lately, I've become pretty sympathetic to arguments that they were written by a young woman of Italian-Christian-Jew heritage, raised as an orphan in the home of an aristocrat who had befriended the family before her parents died. But again, it's all coincidence -- and most of it, coincidence that I cannot verify. What is one indeed to do?

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5 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

enhydra lutris's picture

@UntimelyRippd
just ask David Hume ;-p (running and hiding)

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7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris
could outconsume Schopenhauer and Hegel.

up
5 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@UntimelyRippd

including evidence for his existence and life events, than there is that Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel wrote the Morte d'Arthur. And nobody spins elaborate conspiracy theories about how the Morte was "really" the work of Earl Rivers or William Caxton or this or that other prominent person. Nope, the best they've got is "another man by the same name" - two of them, one from a Cambridgeshire family with a history of political schmoozing (Thomas Malory of Papworth St. Agnes) and one very obscure member of a fairly obscure Yorkshire family (Thomas Malory of Hutton Conyers).

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4 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

lotlizard's picture

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/05/20/wikipedia-is-an-establishment-ps...

As Caitlin Johnstone says, “whoever controls the narrative controls the world.”

It’s probably useful to ask oneself, who is working for change by raising points that disrupt the establishment narrative?

And on the other hand, who seems to be always going to great lengths to shore up the establishment narrative, even if on the surface they present themselves as being on the same side as those working for change?

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11 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

is not to try to defend an alternative theory, but to punch holes in the 'standard' explanation.

The more inconsistencies you point out, the more likely your audience will start considering their OWN alternative explanations.

And that's the key: it doesn't matter what alternative theory is the right one (we rarely ever learn the full truth anyway). All that matters is that the standard theory is popularly discredited which negates its value as propaganda and creates ongoing doubt in the audience as to the veracity of other standard theories.

The Epstein episode is a perfect example. In the end, it doesn't really matter whether Trump LIHOP or Hillary MIHOP or the Mossad kidnapped him or Epstein is dead or is not dead.

What matters here is that NOBODY believes the standard theory that he killed himself, which makes us ALL less trusting of the propagandists feeding us their standard lies.

And that's a good thing.

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16 users have voted.

Peace Sells

@Not Henry Kissinger
theories are ones which purport to account for many unknowable details. For myself this is a possible tell that a story might have been planted to poison the well (alienate rational thinkers).

As you point out, you don't need to lay out an alternative theory to punch holes in a false narrative.

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7 users have voted.
mimi's picture

Just wondering, because I don't see Paul Jay anymore, nor do I see Sharminee Peres. (Don't know how to spell her name) Just vacationing in Canada? Or a collapse over there? Or a take-over? Gregory Wilpert and Marc Steiner took over?

So many conspiracy theories in my mind, I can't figure out which one is the best.

I miss the old crew.

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4 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

wendy davis's picture

@mimi

since june 13, 2019. i emailed the site this morning asking for an explanation.

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2 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@wendy davis
if you want or need to by pm. Thanks Wendy.

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0 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

wendy davis's picture

@mimi

perhaps i may never get one, but if i do, i'll sure let you know. both their CVs are awesome, although i've long worried about sharmini's (untreated?) obvious asthma. brilliant, incisive, and wise in the way of historical geopolitics she is.

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1 user has voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

Really, a thing of beauty. A gift.

Compelling, intense, all consuming, and intoxicating. Catnip for our best minds.

Well done.

My best healing thoughts for Kate.

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9 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

My pleasure.

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5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

many of the authorities, political figures, and media mouthpieces who use the “conspiracy theory” framing to shut down dissent are the exact same people who have been pushing Russia Russia Russia! on us while producing no actual evidence of anything whatsoever.

#EpsteinSuicideCoverUp

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7 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

for a 9/11 inquiry want to provide evidence to a grand jury that was promised them earlier:

1. In April 2018 we submitted a 52-page Grand Jury Petition to the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York with 57 Exhibits dispositive of pre-planted explosives, controlled demolition, bombs in the World Trade Center Towers responsible for their destruction.

2. In July 2018 we submitted an amended Grand Jury Petition with added bomb/terrorist counts.

3. On November 7, 2018 we received an acknowledgement from U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman stating that he would comply with 18 U.S.C. §3332 which is the federal statute mandating the US Attorney to call a Special Grand Jury to consider the pre-planted explosive evidence.

they'd subsequently offered further evidence, but just recently they say that berman won't divulge the status of the petition.

now the two NY fire commissioners board seems to be offering their own evidence by way of architects and engineers.

"They started off by saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Ten minutes later, they were reading the text of a resolution claiming the existence of “overwhelming evidence” that “pre-planted explosives . . . caused the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings.”

And so it was, on July 24, 2019 — nearly 18 years after the horrific attacks that traumatized a nation and changed the world forever — the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District, which oversees a volunteer fire department serving a hamlet of 30,000 residents just outside of Queens, New York, became the first legislative body in the country to officially support a new investigation into the events of 9/11.

The resolution, drafted and introduced by Commissioner Christopher Gioia, was unanimously approved by the five commissioners. Members of the audience — including the families of fallen firefighters Thomas J. Hetzel and Robert Evans, both Franklin Square natives — joined in solemn but celebratory applause after the fifth “ay” was spoken."

but if it does get to a grand jury it'll be fascinating to read what the jurors decide, and any report that comes from the inquiry.

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3 users have voted.

You articulated why there can be no conversation between Russiagaters and skeptics. Russiagate is TOTALLY based appeals on the authority of anon government sources. I can see now why so many people call Russiagate is a cult. To believe in Russiagate one must have the same frame of mind and world view of a religious cultist. Faith based on the preachings of unseen power manifested to some prophet like Maddow. All based solely on "authority".

Russiagate has exposed for me at least, how rationality, skepticism, logic are such precarious virtues of human beings--easily blown away by a strong breeze.

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2 users have voted.