It’s healthy to be skeptical of conspiracy theories; especially ones whose truth would require bad science, illogical motives, the implausible silence of thousands of people, etc. For example, the Rosie O’Donnell form of 9-11 Trooferism, in which absurd claims are made that fire somehow can’t melt nor weaken structural steel, that employees spanning vast security agencies of multiple nations conspired in vast deceptions, etc.
But occasionally, a conspiracy might be real, or partly so. I recently web-surfed to this interesting video from the folks at list25.com. They claim to list 25 true conspiracies.
Note: I DO NOT AGREE with, or vouch for, their entire list. For example, their item 18 (the Nayirah al-Sabah war propaganda case) specifically asserts a CIA connection that Wikipedia does not mention at all. Or their item 15 (about polio vaccine containing a cancer-inducing agent) appears to be weakly sourced.
Still, here are three of their items which were new to me – and which did seem to be supported, when I did quick Google searches for them. If true, they would be historically interesting. If untrue, please feel free to say so in the comments (hopefully with links).
25. Did the NSA in the early 1960s propose to foment war with Cuba, by means of false terrorist incidents that would kill Americans? Search for Operation Northwoods. Again, if this story is false, please let us know in the comments. ABC News reported it as true. If it was a real proposal, then President Kennedy deserves kudos for rejecting it.
24. Did technology exist, as early as the 1970s, to assassinate people ‘trace-free’? A senate.gov page says that:
At the first televised hearing [of the 1975 Church Committee]…Chairman Church dramatically displayed a CIA poison dart gun to highlight the committee’s discovery that the CIA directly violated a presidential order by maintaining stocks of shellfish toxin sufficient to kill thousands.
Some say the point was to deliver a tiny dart, and a toxin, that would decay on impact and become undetectable, after having induced a massive heart attack. I (Jeff) would add that, if the CIA had it in the 1970s, then surely others must have it in the 2000s; which must be why some people wonder about the sudden heart attack of Andrew Breitbart. (more…)
At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.
The Mainstream Media is baffled by young 20-somethings who choose to live as adults; especially when the MFM has worked so hard to ensure they can live on their parents health insurance until age 26, stay in school until their 30′s, and delay marriage and family until the front end of middle age.
R.S. McCain digs a little deeper into the psychology of this “RadFem” blogger and discovers that back when she was a teenage girl, RadFem blogger had an unhappy affair with an older man. I’d be willing to bet this older man was a liberal Democrat. First of all, she doesn’t strike me as the kind who would date a Republican. And second, liberal Democrat men have a pattern of using and abusing younger women; e.g. Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, Jim Moran et fils, Bob Filner, Steve Cohen, et cetera. So, maybe this guy treated her like crap; or maybe he grew tired of dating a batsh-t crazy feminist dingbat and left her for a woman who could make a proper sandwich. Whatever the case, she was clearly left embittered by the relationship. As R.S. McCain Summarizes:
From this sketchy (and unverifiably anonymous) history, we can approach an answer to the first question: Yes, she is crazy, which is to say her behavior has been irrational and self-destructive, and her inability to cope with disappointment — “I didn’t understand why I accumulated so many failures” — led her to adopt an extreme anti-male worldview, i.e., radical feminism. But this is all radical feminism actually is, the elaboration of mental illness as a political philosophy. Sane, normal and happy women don’t become feminists. However, as the realities of sexual behavior in our culture becomes increasingly abnormal — and widespread sexual promiscuity is, historically speaking, abnormal — fewer women are sane and happy, so feminist beliefs become more commonplace and abnormality is thereby normalized.
I tend to agree. My intuitive suspicion is that RadFem blogger is one of those people who can’t stand the thought of other people having something she does not have (this is a major psychological factor on the left), in this case, a healthy, satisfying relationship with a man. So, in her mind, if she can’t have it, then no woman anywhere should be able to have it. And she has created this entire Rape Mythology to rationalize this belief. And although she is an outlier, she’s not *that* far outside of the left-wing feminist mainstream; Rape Hysteria is a huge thing on the left, to the point where a man accused of rape by a woman is deemed automatically guilty and denied his Constitional Rights. (Link. Link. Link.)
In her leniency letter, (a fellow teacher) wrote that Neal losing his teaching certificate, coupled with the parole that will prevent him from molesting other children is “steep enough of punishments that a long incarceration term is not warranted on top of that.”
Social studies teacher Amy Huber Eagan, wife of school board member Mike Eagan, said that Neal “has been, and will be, greatly missed in the educational arena,” which Huber Eagan feels “in and of itself has been a huge punishment to Neal.”
Huber Eagan beseeched the judge, “considering all the circumstances surrounding the case… Neal [should] be given the absolute minimum sentence.”
But the judge disagreed with the teachers, and sentenced Neal Erickson to 15-30 years. Much to Erickson’s chagrin, to grown-up prison and not juvie.
The Roman Catholic Church was sued for hundreds of millions of dollars, and the progressive left is still bashing them constantly for covering up and enabling the sexual abuse of children. But when a public school teacher’s union does the same thing, there is no outcry in the liberal left media. Why is that? Could it be because teacher’s unions are such loyal and generous members of the social democrat coalition?
Many have noted how life today has come to resemble the corrupt, ever-decaying crony socialism depicted in Ayn Rand’s lengthy second dystopian novel. Now it’s even coming to resemble the demented communalism of her first dystopia, Anthem.
Anthem depicts a frightening future society which has de-valued the individual, replacing “I” (or “me”) with devotion to “We” in every possible aspect of life. The society’s philosophy is captured in sayings like these:
We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE: one, indivisible and forever.
We are nothing. Mankind is all. By the grace of our brothers are we allowed our lives. We exist through, by and for our brothers who are the State. Amen.
Some people might agree with the above sentiments, for real. Have you ever heard of We Day? Watch the video at the link; it shows a vast, cheering orgy of thousands of “Me to We” activists celebrating their awesome We-ness.
Mixed in with calls to help The Children, some of the speakers bark sentiments and commands that would fit well in Rand’s dystopia. Just upgrade the event’s arena another notch (fill it with another 20,000 people) and it will start to resemble the North Korean Mass Games.
As for their desire to feed hungry children: Don’t get me wrong, of course that’s nice. I’m all for people helping other people – at their own expense.
But this gang (featuring Al Gore, for example) shows no understanding of what it would take to actually feed the world’s children. What it would take is: universal protection for individual rights to life, liberty and property under the rule of law – so that productive people, working hard for their own gain (not for the great “We”), will then produce, sell and distribute food on a large-enough scale.
More kids go hungry in countries that habitually interfere with production and trade; countries that don’t respect the individual who works to support her own life, liberty and property. Sadly, the Left has turned America into one of those countries, which means we will be cursed with increasing poverty and hunger in years to come.
P.S. If you feel that anti-gay discrimination is too serious to joke about (and it is, in some places): then please re-think your willingness (if any) to excuse Islamist dictatorships, and/or your opposition to gunrights.
This May, a Florida man was indicted on federal first-degree murder charges, because he aborted his girlfriend’s fetus (giving her an abortion drug without her knowledge). News articles state that she was six weeks pregnant (well under such legal abortion limits as 20 or 24 weeks).
In each example, the men certainly deserve charges/punishment for other reasons; namely, for crimes of fraud, assault, kidnapping or rape.
But murder? In each case, the murder charge arose from the man having aborted his fetus (that is, the fetus created from his genes). Is that just? In each example, if the woman had aborted her fetus, she would not be charged with murder.
Why is it a crime of homicide when the father terminates the fetus, but not when the mother does? Why should the same action (killing the fetus) be a crime, or not, depending on who (which parent) did it?
If the variant were race – If we claimed, for example, that the killing of a black person is somehow not murder, when “who did it” happens to be a white person – then Bob Dylan would write protest songs about the inequality…and rightly so.
Please note, I am not expressing a stand on the above questions. I am asking them, inspired by Bruce’s re-tweet from Matthew H, “…men do not have the same rights as women. We can’t kill & call it ‘health choices’.” The tweet is correct. And why should that situation be? Has the pro-choice movement created a ‘female privilege’, a dangerous new form of legal inequality?
Just caught Erin Burnett on CNN talking about something I had noticed earlier today as trending on Yahoo!
Yup, that’s right, number one above.* On his “700 Club” television show yesterday, his co-host Kristi Watts read a letter from a woman having trouble forgiving a cheating husband. Watts called infidelity “one of the ultimate betrayals“, but Robertson said the woman should “stop talking about the cheating.” After asking some good questions which get at the heart of what it means to be good husband, he otherwise seems to miss the point, dismissing the problem of infidelity — and failing to understand the full meaning of marriage, particularly the marital vows:
He cheated on you. Well, he’s a man, okay, so, what you do is begin to focus on why you married him in the first place, on what he does good.
. . . .
But recognize also, like it or not, males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do is make the home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander. But, think of the temptations that are out there. The Internet is filled with pornography. Magazines are filled with pictures, salacious pictures of women. Anywhere you turn around, there is some solicitation to the sense to entice a man. And so what you have to do is say, “My husband was captured and I want to get him free.”
Yes, Mr. Robertson is right; males do have a tendency to wander, but marriage vows exist to restrain that tendency, to remind a man that he has, to borrow a term many social conservatives like, made a covenant with a woman, forging a bond more important that the momentary gratification a dalliance with another women might offer.
What this man did was wrong and to earn forgiveness, he should first admit that.
Marriage has evolved for a great many reasons, one of them to control that tendency to wander. Mr. Robertson should have said as much. He should have said that what the cheating husband did was wrong — and criticized him for violating his vows. And for causing pain to a woman to whom he had sworn fidelity. (more…)
First, NBA center Jason Collins comes out. Interestingly, he has a twin who is straight. (Studies show that identical twins are somewhat likely, but far from guaranteed, to have the same orientation.) His article has a few odd political shots in it; I wonder if they come from his co-writer?
Next, kicker Alan Gendreau didn’t get drafted. But not many kickers are drafted, so that may be small news. Gendreau was the first openly-gay player to enter the NFL draft. The Newsbusters article (hat tip Peter H) mentions ABC News’ role in having publicized Gendreau for reasons of political advocacy.
UPDATE: Caught a few minutes of Rush, who predicts that the NFL will soon come out with at least two gay players… because they have to trump the NBA.
I hope he’s right. I mean, can we please get the coming-out-in-sports process over with? Like I said in my earlier post, in 1993 or 2003 I cared about celebrities’ “brave personal journeys” in coming out, but it’s 2013 now. The sooner done and forgotten, the better.
For the past five years now, we here at the international women’s movement Femen have been waging an active campaign of resistance to the patriarchy in various corners of the world…
The most obvious illustration of the patriarchy is Islamic theocracy, a symbiosis of political and religious dictatorship…
At the heart of Islamism lies the enslavement of women based on control over their sexuality…
I hereby both promise and threaten to deploy an entire network of Femen activists in Arab countries. We will hound Islamic leaders across the globe, subjecting them to desolating criticism. We intend to hound spiritual leaders who are personally responsible for mistreating women…
Femen stands for “democracy, atheism, and sexuality” (per the article), and famously protested Vladimir Putin a couple of weeks ago (video here).
I do NOT endorse everything they believe or do, but what’s interesting here is the phenomenon of a left-wing protest group realizing that Islamism is a major threat to the freedom that they seek to live out, and declaring their intention to confront Islamism. We see that occasionally, but not often enough. Some other leftists go for safer targets (such as Christians who, in reality, pose no great threat to them).
These women may be in for some rough times, if they carry out their declaration. While not necessarily endorsing all that they do, let’s give them some credit for their new-found insight, and wish them health and safety! (more…)
I’m late in getting to this, but last week on NBC’s Today, Matt Lauer said:
It’s interesting that in 2013, with attitudes towards homosexuality changing so dramatically in this country, there isn’t a single major athlete in a major professional sport playing right now who has come out and said, ‘I’m gay.’ Why is that?…
I have a possible answer, and a new question.
My answer is: For much the same reason that straight athletes don’t come out and say “I’m straight.” It’s irrelevant. Not every activity or field is one where the customers (spectators) need any information about the producers’ (athletes’) personal lives.
Part of what we love about athletes is their focus on something wonderfully beyond themselves: which is the sport, the game, the discipline it takes to be a winning athlete. Call me crazy, but I find it distasteful when any athlete, gay or straight, insists on my knowing whom they ‘like’ or are dating. I only care about their dedication to (and success with) their sport.
Which brings me to my question: why, in 2013, would Lauer think this is important? This isn’t the 1980s, wherein gays had to battle sodomy laws, or the total absence of gay-straight alliances at schools, or certain professional bans. Today we even have States scrambling to support gay marriage. Lauer’s question itself assumes there are lots of gay pro athletes – so, no real job discrimination.
I must admit that I thought like Lauer did in, say, 1993. Some years later, I came into the 21st century. Join me, Matt!
[Germany] spends some €200 billion ($270 billion) on promoting children and families per year…But its birth rate, at 1.39 births per woman aged 15 to 49, remains among the lowest in Europe…
…The web of benefits is so complex that even experts don’t fully grasp it: There’s a “child supplement,” “parental benefit,” an “allowance for single parents,” a “married person’s supplement,” a “sibling bonus,” “orphan money” and “child education supplement,” not to forget the “child education supplementary supplement.”
The article suggests that the reason that German women don’t have kids is because the government isn’t funding enough daycare and preschools to make it easy for them.
I have a different theory. My guess is that birthrates fall:
because living standards rise. (Kids stop being a help on the farm; start being expensive.)
and because the Welfare State gives people the illusion that government will take care of them in old age.
My second point would mean that Big Government measures won’t, over time and on average, raise a nation’s birthrates. The more the State does – the more it hands out benefits and asserts its dominance in citizens’ lives – the less urgent its citizens will feel about procreating. Agree/disagree?
I’ve forgotten where I stumbled across this term, Mean World Syndrome, although it was yesterday!
“Mean world syndrome” is a term coined by George Gerbner to describe a phenomenon whereby violence-related content of mass media makes viewers believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is…”You know, who tells the stories of a culture really governs human behaviour,” [Gerbner] said. “It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now it’s a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.”…
…Individuals who watch television infrequently and adolescents who talk to their parents about reality are claimed to have a more accurate view of the real world than those who do not, and they may be able to more accurately assess their vulnerability to violence…
What do y’all think of this idea?
I have only a few scattered fragments of thought about it, so far. First, I’m suspicious of anything that smacks of Behaviorism. But I also notice that this idea isn’t the standard fare, that our violent media culture somehow programs us to do violent crime. It makes a different point: that our violent media culture (and I would count TV News shows, in that) has given us all a darker vision of the world, making most people a little more frightened and suspicious. True/untrue/?
If you haven’t seen Jamie Farr cum Larry King wannabe Piers Morgan getting into it with Christine O’Donnell, here is that video:
(apologies for the adverts at the beginning of the clip…apparently going on a quasi-news interview show to whore for a new book is matched dearly by a ‘news’ network playing commercials before even online videos)
I have no beef with Morgan being a tough interviewer, and I never really followed O’Donnell’s run for the Senate from Delaware. I realize she’s a social conservative and had run as such.
That being said, Morgan’s insistence on discussing not the debt problem, not the out-of-control runaway spending, not the unconstitutional interference of the current ruling class that led to historic turnover on Capital Hill in last year’s midterm elections; but rather topics such as DADT and gay marriage is a perfect example of why the Left keeps losing elections.
While controversy and drama are good for ratings, there’s also a seriousness in Leftists in the media like Morgan and others insisting on painting the Tea Party with an intolerant brush.
It’s the Alinskyite drubbing and constant drone about Tea Partiers being anti-gay, racist knuckle-dragging Bible-thumping social conservatives that the Left and the media (pardon my redundancy) are hoping to use to discredit their opponents rather than engage in the real argument that they know they’d lose: Is our government too bloated, is it doing things it shouldn’t be doing, and is it impeding our recovery?; or is it not big enough, not spending enough, and not regulating sufficiently?
The Left knows it can’t win that argument in a center-right nation, so they will search for social conservatives within the Tea Party movement (which, unquestionably it can easily find), and then generalize such positions broadly to paint us all as intolerant neanderthals hoping to cast homosexuals into prison.
Can anybody relate an experience at a Tea Party rally or other such event that even addressed social issues? Were gay marriage and DADT even topics of conversation (other than the court’s overreaching in many big cases, and the lack of 10th Amendment appreciation by the ruling class, that is)? I search and search Rick Santelli’s original rant on CNBC but can’t find either of these topics (nor religion, abortion, or race issues) having anything to do with his anger.
I, for one, am completely tired of hearing about social issues. Totally and completely. I can’t believe that with $14,000,000,000,000+ in debt and a new credit line of another $2,000,000,000,000 recently added on, three wars, 9.1% unemployment, GDP growth rate out of a recession at only 1.5%, housing failing, hiring failing, a credit downgrade, that to some morons, the issue of gay marriage and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is actually pertinent.
As I had admonished them a couple weeks ago, the Social Left in America is ruining our Nation because they care more about their social issues than they do about the fiscal and economic strength of our country.
One of our critics and one of our staunchest defenders respectively got at the weakness in the argument GOProud and this blog have been making asking the GOP to sidestep social issues.
The critic, Tim, in a comment, contended that my “compromise of not discussing social issues” means that Congress will not move forward on DADT and DOMA repeal while “immigration reform for gays will languish. Somehow,” he adds, “the status quo doesn’t seem that great.”
In a blog post, styled as an open letter to GOProud, North Dallas Thirty looks at the status quo from a different angle and also finds it also not great:
But the key to dealing with social issues is not to ignore them completely. Indeed, by making them off-limits, you infuriate those whose support you need and leave yourself open for the Obama Party to exploit them against you. . . .
Read the whole thing, not necessarily because I agree with it, but because I do believe he raises some valuable points. He suggest that instead of avoiding social issues, we “grab” and “reframe them.”
NDXXX is spot on about abortion. But, I see that not so much as a social issue, but more as a fiscal. No government should pay for abortion.
And yes, I do acknowledge that social conservatives are part of the GOP coalition. But, Republicans risk losing independent voters if they bend over backwards trying to appease these folks. So, keep the focus on fiscal issues, but make clear they understand social conservatives’ concern.
The less government is involved in our lives, the greater influence private institutions will have. The government should not mandate that social conservatives pay for a medical procedure they find abhorrent. (more…)