Friday, April 13, 2007

Debunking conspiracies.

I admit it, I love hearing and reading about the paranormal and supernatural. I'm also beguiled by all the popular and fantastic conspiracies. The 1969 moon landing was a movie set. Our government staged the 9/11 terror attack on the twin towers. "Nessie" occasionally cruises the Loch. Spirits of the dead haunt certain establishments. Vampires and werewolves roam the back alleys after midnight always just out of our line of sight.
When I get too involved with this area of dubious concern, thankfully, there is always someone with a much more logical perspective to set me straight. Just when I start to be persuaded that there may be something of substance in this that is worth considering, someone with a firmer grasp on reality comes along and pulls me back from the abyss. First it was James Randi. Here is a guy who put his money where his mouth is. A standing offer of one million dollars if any paranormal phenomena can be repeated under a controlled environment.
Just today, I was happy to discover Bill Whittle's "Seeing the Unseen" targeting all those of us that possess gullible natures and are occasional escapees from reality. Whittle, as usual, shows why he is a very entertaining and insightful writer and gifted observer of what is actually there.

17 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

I don't know if you realize how visceral the hatred of Bush is? There are many people who believe the 9/11 conspiracy theories, out of hatred.

The conspiracy theorists distract from real issues, that could be documented.

roman said...

Ren,

Yes, I see what you're saying. Deep hatred may cause someone to manifest exagerated feelings of suspicion and hence be more open to wild speculation.
I am convinced that the reason there is so much hatred for Bush is that society in general has lost most of its respect for authority. Bush happens to be the most notable symbol of authority. In the 60's and 70's, the slogan on campus was "QUESTION AUTHORITY".
This mindset has deteriorated over time to "IGNORE AND DESPISE AUTHORITY".
I would be willing to bet that no matter who is elected POTUS, he/she will suffer the same fate as Bush. We, as a society, are just getting more and more defiant and impatient with our elected officials.

jams o donnell said...

More fool those who believe the idiotic conspiracy theories even if they hate Bush/Blair/(insert name here). All they do is marginalise themselves

Pete's Blog said...

Roman

I notice you did this post on FRIDAY THE 13TH! - the most paranormal day - what are the chances of that? ;)

I'm a sceptic as well. However even scientists dream up a theory then succesfully backtrack to select pieces of evidence to support the theory.

This is especially true about matters one can't see or touch eg. for example conflicting theories about why dinosaurs died out 70 million years ago or is global warming caused by human activity?

The boundary between formal science and suspect superstition can sometimes be thin.

San Nakji said...

I am not a fan of Bush, but to believe in these conspiracy theories? Crazy! Being a good healthy sceptic is a good good thing :)

As for my podcast. Just download itunes. Easy easy easy :)

Anonymous said...

You wonder why Bush is hated by so many across the entire globe?

You did not mention the theory that Global Warming is a hoax launched by legitimate scienctists who have no deposits from Exxon to their banking accounts, unlike Dr. Bill Grey.

What of the theory that Haliburton is not only robbing Americans, but the people of Iraq?

Or the theory that over 1 billion dollars of monies that were to be put toward the rebuilding of Iraq is missing? Why did our last congress not investigate this "theory"?

What of the African yellow cake theory? What of the theory of evolution that Darwin created so long ago? Sheesh, what a moron.

I just cannot understand why a majority of Americans hate Bush so much that the fiscally responsible Republicans could not hold their own in the last election. I'll bet this is due to a vast left-wing conspiracy!

Mind boggling, isn't it?

I suppose it is for some.

BTW, I heard that James Randi was abducted by aliens during a recent trip to the great red state of Arizona. *GASP!*

roman said...

jams,

Want to hear my conspiracy theory? Start a snowball rolling down a steep hill and it collects more and more snow and finally winds up at the bottom of the hill as a giant expanded version of itself. Like the snowball, the MSM and cocktail gathering groups of elite acedemics and popular entertainers feed themselves and others with real or imagined shortcomings (never their own but some political figure) to produce a "fall guy". Whether Bush/ Blair/ Rove (insert name here), this necessary ingredient must be there to have its subliminal effect. The instinct to knock someone down in order to bring oneself up is, unfortunately, a strong component in our make-up as human beings. We all partake in this feeding frenzy when we laugh at entertainers that use this very human frailty to their ends. Repetition over and over implying someone is stupid or dumb is a very stealthy and effective brainwashing tool. It is usually based on very little basis in fact and the one that is ultimately "convinced" is never aware he/she has been duped. The hate is a direct result of thinking that someone in authority over us is somehow inferior intelectually. Take the three examples I gave earlier. All three have very high IQ and academic records, yet they are regarded as dunces (I use the polite term here). The evidence just does not support the facts.

roman said...

Pete,

I was unaware that it, in fact, was Friday the 13'th.
Stop dragging me back from everyday reality to the supernatural phenomena of numerology. I will not go there...well, maybe just to look a little closer. Just a peek? :)

roman said...

san,

Yes, Bush has worn out our welcome mat. I was hoping for a more vigorous defense in the media of some of his policies but it seems he just does'nt care about his public image at all. Yes, Iraq is a disaster but the US economy is booming and people are "surging" to come here to make a better life. Estmated 12 to 16 million illegal immigrants in the last 10 years.
BTW, I bought my wife a "nano". Now I just have to figure out how to download songs from the on-line stores. Transfering songs from CD's was easy and straightforward. I am catching up but SLOWLY! :(

roman said...

melissa,

melissa, melissa, melissa.
First let me welcome you to my little corner of the blogosphere.
I am at work now and have a veritable turnstyle of people coming and going so can't reply 100% but will later.

roman said...

melissa,

Global warming. Did you know that the polar ice caps on MARS are melting? Could be the sun is in one of its normal cycles of increased activity? Naah, it's Bush. What a jerk!

I concede that humankind is playing a role. How big a role? NO ONE KNOWS. If we play a miniscule role, then what will happen will happen in spite of our actions to mitigate it. If we play a big role, then why are the countries who signed up with the Kyoto Protocols failing their quotas year after year? Why not HATE the leaders of those countries for their broken promises?

Haliburton. The only company on the face of the planet willing to take the HUGE risk associated with doing business in extremely unstable and dangerously hostile environments. Huge risks, huge rewards. Want to be a body guard for an engineer in Baghdad? I did'nt think so. Robbery? A billion dollars missing? If so, let's investigate and prosecute. Let's not just keep repeating the same vague accusations over and over, year after year. If the last congress did'nt pursue legal action maybe this congress will? I doubt it. These days it is enough just to keep repeating vague unsupported accusations through the MSM over and over. Convince the public with soundbite accusations as if they were indisputable facts. With 85% left-wing control over print and the visual media around the world, who needs such bothersome things as the truth or facts.
Will the current congress do something about it? NO. Why? There is nothing of substance there and even if there was, most of the current congress (both sides of the aisle) have a financial interest in the same scheme. Is Haliburton a wholy owned Republican corporation? Are there? Could there possibly be Democrats profiteering from Haliburton?

Finally, the infamous yellowcake "investigation" by Mr. Wilson (an expert in these kinds of investigations.. NOT).
Here is Mr. Wilson's extensively exhausting investigation into this matter. It probably went someting like this:
Mr. Wilson: "You guys are experts in the comings and goings of the yellowcake trade here in Niger,right?
Reply: Yes sir!
Wilson: "I'm willing to bet big bucks that there was absolutely NO contact by Iraqi agents to buy yellowcake, right?
Reply: No sir!
Wilson: "Let's do lunch!"

Anonymous said...

Bush admits there is a problem. What does he do about it? A: Nothing. Just like China. Is it not better to err on the side of caution?

Haliburton was given a no bid contract. That's not theory. It's fact.

The last congrss did not investigate. This congress is beginning their investigation. Fact, not theory. "Could there possibly be Democrats profiteering from Haliburton?" That sounds like a nice theory. Now we can find the truth with a congress that will investigate.

Yellowcake; "It probably went someting like this:" Probably? Did you hear that from Sean Hannity? Are those facts? At least there was an investigation. Wilson is not a liberal.

"Probably" equals theory.

roman said...

melissa,

The reason I used the term probably is because no one really knows what Joe Wilson did in Niger.
We only have his word. Why are you so sure and convinced that he suddenly turned into a veritable Sherlock Holmes and was able to come back and confidently state that there definitely was no contacts made by Iraq? Not even the most trained and seasoned secret agents can so boldly make such a statement. Don't you find that in the least suspicious? Remember what Reagan said to the Soviets regarding their agreed-to responsibility in diminishing their stockpile of nuclear missiles? TRUST BUT VERIFY.

Renegade Eye said...

Roman: Several of your skeptical positions are to the right of the public announcements of the Bush administration. On global warming, yellow cake etc, you are arguing as if Bush still had credibility.

He did so much damage, the GOP will never be in power ever again. It might not exist in 5 years.

I don't support Dems either. They don't want someone as Melissa's ideas, only their vote.

roman said...

ren,

I do not fully agree but respect melissa's ideas and convictions. The Global Warming issue is very worrisome to me and I agree that we should mitigate the effects of green house gases as best as we can. Whatever solutions that the Dems or Repubs come up with that make sense, I'll gladly go along with. For my part, I have already made moves in this regard. I have downsized my carbon footprint by switching from BIG cars to little cars. I actually use energy saving light bulbs, recycle all paper, plastic, glass and metal products and am getting involved with local solar and wind power movements. I'm walking the walk.
The yellowcake thing is just a disgraceful political imbroglio. If it was anyone else but Joe Wilson, a known Bush hater, making these charges, I would take this matter more seriously.
Melissa is also under the mistaken impression that the Democrats have totally destroyed the Republicans in the last election. A teetering 49 to 51 percentage apportionment of votes does not conjure up the word LARGE when used to describe a majority.
You said " the GOP will never be in power ever again. It might not exist in 5 years."
This could only happen if Al Qaida and other similar terror groups suddenly start singing "KUMBAYA" and "GIVE PEACE A CHANCE" instead of attacking US and western interests.
I sincerely wish this could happen but have serious doubts.

zubydo said...

I have been reading Roman's Musings and comments made by visitors to his blog and I have noticed that you all like to talk and intellectualize. Did you ever think of doing something about any of these issues? Did you ever see that commercial where someone drops trash on the ground and a group of people gather around and discuss how terrible and distasteful and unsanitary this was. Than someone comes walking by and bends over and picks up the piece of trash and drops it in a trash container. It is fun and amusing to discuss current events but it is crisis time and you need to step up and do something. Blah,Blah Blah,take a stand and work to make it happen.

roman said...

zubydo,

Thanks (I think) for the reminder to put into action what we truly believe in. I know that many readers get a lot of information on different issues but it seems that all we do is talk, talk, talk. Getting information out to try and convince others IS, in fact, a first step. You see, one must be convinced that any action taken will be just and necessary before taking that action. Blogging strives for this purpose. Converting ideas into action for anyone other than myself is beyond my ability. Taking action is a step that is deeply personal and beyond the scope of anyone other than the person contemplating that action.
Also, converting a recognized problem into corrective action is a separate challenge in itself.
Eg..I may recognize that greenhouse gas emissions are a problem but what appropriate action should I take without going to the extreme.
I may change my automobile to a more fuel efficient model but I may not want to move out of my house and take up residence in a tent.
You're right though, talk is just that. It's appropriate action that is required to solve problems.