Conspiracy Theories and You! – Trump Plant Theory


Donald Trump isn’t actually running for president, you know. No, he’s actually just running as this insane, over-the-top version of himself in order to make the Republican party look bad, and thus win votes for his friend, Hillary Clinton!

160519-trump-clinton-0014_43b68e75ee8a5e932bc0b4007dccfc02.nbcnews-fp-1200-800

Clever!

This is one of the stupider conspiracy theories that I’ve come across lately. It falls apart under even the most basic scrutiny.

The essence here is that Bill Clinton (never Hillary, but always Bill), talked Trump into running, and running as an extremist, right-wing, racist, fascist candidate. He did this knowing that Trump would be wildly popular with the Republican base, who would usher him into the nomination, and then Trump would start taking the election heavily, thus putting Hillary into office.

Except…first off, why would Trump do this? What possible motivation would he have? This is a man who is all about his ego. This has been very damaging to his brand, and I strongly doubt he would have done this with that damage being his intention.

 

This theory also ignores Trump’s previous run for president. Yes, back in 2000, he ran for president as a member of the Reform party. Remember those idiots? Trump tried, and failed, to get their nomination. He’s also written about politics many times, and has pondered a run for president before.

But most importantly, no sane political operative, and whatever else you might think about Bill Clinton, he’s quite sane, would have suggested that Trump run on the very extreme platform he has. In every other election cycle, the wisdom goes, someone running on a platform like that would have been eliminated by the time the Iowa caucuses rolled around. Obviously that didn’t happen, and we can analyze all we want with the benefit of hindsight, but a year or two ago, not too many people would have suggested this campaign as a road to success. We all would have assumed he would have flamed-out like Ben Carson.

Finally, consider the risk if this conspiracy was somehow exposed. Trump is a dangerously unstable man. He’d be quite likely to turn against whomever it was that set him up like this, and that isn’t even going into anyone else who might know about it and blab.

As a conspiracy theory, this just doesn’t work. The odds of success are extremely low, and the potential for failure if caught is very high. There’s no real upside for anyone involved.

I do understand why so many on the right want to believe this theory might be true. If it’s true, it means that their party isn’t some horrible, broken mess, who just picked Donald Trump as their nominee for president of the United States. Instead it means that someone else, the Clintons, specifically, are at fault.

And if that’s the case, then it means nothing in their party needs to change, nothing at all. And that’s the saddest part of all of this.

Advertisements

Conspiracy Theories and You! – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370


Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished a few days ago. What we know right now is that it took off, flew along like normal, and then disappeared not long after the transponder was turned off. The plane’s last transmission was, “Alright, good night,” and that was all. It was (possibly) picked up on radar some time later, heading west, out toward the Indian Ocean. It sounds as though either the pilot or the co-pilot, or possibly both, did something to the plane. And…that’s about all we know for sure.

Of course with this gap in actual information, we have a vacuum, and if there’s one thing the universe hates, it’s a vacuum. As a result, the conspiracy theories are beginning to roll in. Snopes has already published an article about some nonsense regarding patents, for example. I’ve also seen stuff about the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence branch, bringing down the plane because reasons. My personal favorite, however, is the theory that someone I work with floated. According to them, the CIA (of course), hijacked the plane and landed it at a secret island landing base, like Diego Garcia, which is so secret, no one has ever even heard of it! They would then take off the passengers, make them all sign non-disclosure agreements, and give them new identities before sending them off to their new lives.

Let me know when you’re done going “What?” and laughing.

All done? Good.

Now I almost don’t even want to bother shooting that conspiracy down (just like how North Korea shot down Flight 370!!!! No, no, stay on topic…), but I can’t resist. First off, what? What the fuck? Why would the CIA want to steal a 777? If they did want it, why would they want to get one in such a public fashion? I’m pretty sure they could just create a holding company or something, and then, you know, buy one used. That would be much smarter and much less public than creating some big mystery like this. Also, what? Really? They’d just let everyone go after they signed some NDAs? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that if it were me they did that to, I’d ask to get sent to Brazil, and once there, I’d do my level best to track down Glenn Greenwald. I might have travel papers saying my name is actually Vokda Santos (possibly the best name ever), but I’m pretty sure some DNA tests would quickly prove who I really am.

So, yeah. That’s just an incredibly stupid conspiracy theory. But then again, most of them are.

Now it is worth saying that we don’t yet know what happened to Flight 370. My initial guess was that it just crashed. These things happened. That seems less and less likely as time goes on, but the notion that it was spirited away to some secret landing site seems pretty damn unlikely. Still, we don’t know. But I think we can all agree that, no, it wasn’t the CIA, and it wasn’t aliens. Whatever happened will likely be something interesting, but fairly mundane. Hopefully we will know soon, and if we don’t, hopefully people can come up with better, more plausible conspiracy theories than ones like this.

Conspiracy Theories and You! – Keeping the Fire Going


What keeps believers in conspiracy theories going despite the mountains of evidence against them? The Discovery website has a great little article on this very subject that I recommend reading. Follow-the-money quote:

In the case of the TWA Flight 800, we can easily follow the money back to Kristina Borjesson, the writer and director of an upcoming documentary film on the incident. Borjesson’s publicity team has done their job drumming up a “controversy” and rehashing long-discredited conspiracy theories to promote her upcoming film.

Follow the money indeed.

Conspiracy Theories and You! – The Boston Marathon Bombing


This is so fucked-up and depressing that I almost don’t even know where to begin. But here we go.

The government done blowed up the marathon! Yessir, they did! It was the FBI/BATF/CIA/DHS/Girl Scouts what done it! They blowed it up so that they could get more power! Yeah! False flag and stuff! Yeah! Proof? What do you mean you want proof? You’re one of them! Aaaaaah!

So the latest “beyond stupid” “theory” from the Info Wars crowd is that someone, anyone other than the suspects in question, blew up the Boston Marathon. Probably the FBI. It was probably a so-called “false flag” operation whereby the government does something bad, blames it on someone else, and then gains more power.

Now to be fair, we do know this has happened exactly one (1) time in history: the burning of the Reischstag building in Germany. But that’s actually the only time that we know of that something like this happened. Oh, the “truthers” like to claim that 9/11 was something similar, but I’ve already covered their stupid-ass nonsense.

It appalls me that there are actually people out there who are capable of walking upright and using computers who, nevertheless, are so mind-rapingly stupid that they would rather believe the US government blew up its own citizens than believe that a couple asshole citizens blew up people on their own. What stupidity. What credulity. What…you know, I’m just going to let the guy in this video say it for me at this point.

Elaborate conspiracy theories just aren’t needed in cases like this. Sometimes, often, you have genuine assholes who think the best way to get things done is by killing a lot of innocent people. That’s a bad thing, but it’s easily explained through normal means. Not only does the tinfoil hat crowd not have any evidence that this was caused by the government, there’s no need for a conspiracy by the government when one by two idiots is sufficient explanation.

Frankly the fact that this one sprung up so instantly, and with no need for it and no proof, speaks more to laziness than just about anything else. So these people are stupid assholes who are also lazy and responding reflexively. They’re like Glenn Beck, only minus the charm.

Bottom line: these people are fucking morons, and praise to the guy who made this video where he shows what we’ve always known: cockroaches hate the light.

Conspiracy Theories and You! – The Apollo Moon Landing Hoax Part II


I wrote a while back about the nonsensical idea that we never went to the Moon. This particular video takes an interesting course with that idea. The presenter says he doesn’t know for sure if we went there, because he wasn’t on the Moon at the time, but says he’s dead certain it couldn’t have been faked with 1969-level technology. Have a look!

I’m as certain as it is possible to be that we went. The evidence that we did is overwhelming. The evidence that we did not is nearly non-existent. That’s good enough for me!

Conspiracy Theories and You! – Barack Obama Ain’t No Citizen! – *UPDATE*


Click to embiggen!

Today President Obama released the unofficial, so-called “long form” birth certificate that proves he was born in the State of Hawaii. Actually, since it’s a non-official document (the state says the only official ones are the sort they’ve already released), it doesn’t prove squat, but whatever. It’s what the birthers, most notably Donald Trump, have been asking for, so the issue is now over and laid to rest completely and will never come up again ever, ever, ever, right?

Ha.

This paranoia is not based in rational thought. It isn’t going to make a whit of difference. I can gaurantee you that before the sun goes down today, you’ll see at least one birther on the news saying something like, “I find it very interesting that it took them so long to release this long form certificate, and I also find it very interesting that it didn’t happen until Hawaii had a governor that was friends with the Obama family.”

I wrote about this issue back in 2009. Here’s what I said then:

But it won’t do any good. These people are not connected to reality and this isn’t really about Obama’s birthplace; it’s really about them hating on him because he’s black/a Democrat/a secret Muslim/whatever. If you say to them, “Will the certificate be proof enough?” and they say yes, and you give it to them, they’ll come up with a reason why it’s not good enough. They’ll move the goalposts so that no matter what proof you give them, it won’t be good enough. They will never change their minds.

I stand by this. They will move the goalposts again and it’s just not going to matter. On the plus side, anything that makes Trump and his crowd look like racist idiots is fine with me.

By the way, for an excellent takedown of this, check out what Fareed Zakaria had to say on the issue.

*** UPDATE ***

Yes, an update to the update.

Have a look at what was said by Orly Taitz, professional fucktard.

“In those years … when they wrote race, they were writing ‘Negro’ not ‘African’,” Taitz says. “In those days nobody wrote African as a race, it just wasn’t one of the options. It sounds like it would be written today, in the age of political correctness, and not in 1961 when they wrote white or Asian or ‘Negro’.

*headdesk*

In a place like Hawaii, that’s been racially diverse for a very long time, I rather doubt that they wrote “Negro” on a birth certificate. Besides, his father was from Africa, which makes him very, you know, African. What an obnoxious bitch, a distinction she shares with a legislator in Texas whose spokesperson said:

“We want to see a ‘birth certificate,'” thea spokesperson] explained. “The one that we have that says ‘birth certificate’ is from Mombassa, Kenya, with his footprint on it. He has still not produced an American birth certificate.”

Like I said, there will never, ever, be enough evidence to placate these racist idiots. It’s not going to happen. It’s like trying to convince a Holocaust denier that the Holocaust actually happened. It just won’t work.

Meantime, I notice that Trump is now whining about Obama’s academic records. Frankly I think releasing this was one of the biggest mistakes Obama could have made, since it only adds fuel to the fire.

Conspiracy Theories and You! – Chemtrails


Actually, I think they look rather lovely!

You may have heard about a massive die-off of birds a few days ago. Turns out what happened, at least according to the people who would know these sorts of things, is that the birds died after being startled by loud noises. Given that this happened on New Year’s Eve around the time fireworks were being set off, I can believe that.

Of course this bit of information from experts who understand bird biology and the like won’t be enough for some people. Just yesterday I saw some guy ranting about how the birds died after flying through what normal people call “contrails” but what paranoid conspiracy nuts call “chemtrails“.

For those of you who live in the real world, “chemtrails” are those white lines you see criss-crossing the sky after planes fly by at high altitude. According to the “theory” these aren’t innocent contrails, but are actually chemical agents being dispersed by X group of people for Y sinister reason. Usually the government is to blame cause, you know, they’re evil.

This of course doesn’t make any real sense. Aircraft fly several miles above the ground, usually. And given what wind patterns are like that high up, I don’t see any way that any chemical agent would be able to reach the ground in amounts sufficient to cause any notice, much less any harm. Worry more about actual, real air pollution from factories.

There’s a lot of really stupid conspiracy theories out there, but frankly this one takes the cake. It offers no reasonable, sane explanation for anything, and what it describes is already well-understood scientifically. All they do offer is paranoia, a complete lack of any sort of evidence and that warm feeling of “I figured out what They didn’t want me to know! That makes me better than Them!” That is of course common with any sort of conspiracy theory.

People who believe this have to have at least a couple screws loose or must be very intellectually lazy. Yes, even you, Billy Corgan. Love the music, but, yeah…

For more on this, check the Skeptic’s Dictionary’s fine article on the subject.