Monday, February 11, 2013

Conspiracy Theories

In 2006, commentator Thomas Friedman listed his "Mideast Rules to Live By," which was his attempt to help people in the rest of the world understand the byzantine politics and beliefs of people in that troubled region. Rule #3 (out of a total of 15) was this:

"If you can’t explain something to Middle Easterners with a conspiracy theory, then don’t try to explain it at all — they won’t believe it."

There are indeed a lot of really bizarre conspiracy theories swirling around the social and political cesspool of the Middle East, most of them blaming every ill of the region since the expulsion from Eden on the evil machinations of the CIA*. Unfortunately, belief in off-the-wall conspiracy theories is not limited to the Middle East.

In what passes for political discussion in modern America, some of the most bizarre and outrageous conspiracy theories are gaining traction on the part of people suffering from a lack of independent thought, education, good judgment, or common sense**.

How about this one: the Jack-Booted ThugsTM of the ATF are going to swoop down and confiscate guns owned by law-abiding Americans so the country can be taken over by the UN.

Now, consider that we have somewhere around 11 million illegal aliens living more-or-less openly in this country. The All-Powerful Evil GovernmentTM is unable to identify and deport these 11 million people, very few of whom are likely to shoot back. Now consider whether the All-Powerful Evil GovernmentTM is likely to be able to confiscate an estimated 300 million guns*** from a paranoid and enraged population fired up by far-right propaganda****.

Yea, probably not all that likely.

And that's probably the least of the wild conspiracy theories flying around out there. I found this wonderful guide to "Almost Every Obama Conspiracy Theory Ever" to help you sort through the muck ...

If you follow the link, you can find details of all the individual theories about the President shown in the chart. Be sure to put on your tinfoil hat before you start reading.

Don't thank me ... it's all part of helping you keep what's left of your sanity in a world where real information and rational discussion are endangered species.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* And there's probably some imam over there preaching in his madrassah that the CIA planted the apple tree and drugged Eve, too. And just down the street is his ultra-ultra-ultra orthodox neighbor who believes women's clothing not made with 175 yards of heavy canvas is a CIA plot as well. Oy.

** Usually all of the above.

*** No one knows for sure, because there are no standardized requirements for tracking gun sales and ownership. The 300 million figure is a best estimate based on FBI and ATF data. 

**** And in violation of the Constitution, to boot!


eViL pOp TaRt said...

There are some people who think that jack boots are the next fashion statement.

A nice, exhaustive summary of all the Obama-related conspiracy theories out there. Thanks for the chart.

For the most part, with conspiracy theories, they are fundamentally far-fetched and risible. Actually, part of the problem in discerning fact from fiction is that real life is weird enough at time as it is.

Duckbutt said...

Conspiracy theories abound because, for some people, real life is too dull.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Is it possible that conspiracy theories run in fads too? No one seems to worry about the Trilateral Commission or the Kennedy Assassination or Skull and Bones any longer.

Mike said...

I read up on all those Obama conspiracy theories, will I get a continuing education credit?