Tag: conspiracy theory

Consensus /= Conspiracy

Sometimes, it’s not a conspiracy when everyone dislikes you. Sometimes, we all decide independently that we don’t like you. Because you are horrible. #deepstate


Deja Vu: Avocado Toast and Seth Rich

Jeff says: Thanks! I was going to flip by Fox yesterday to see exactly which “kitten stuck in a tree” story they’d be covering all day. Also, $19 in 2017 was $6.40 in 1980, and everyone spent that on an indulgence back then. I’m just not getting the hate on Millennials.

Infowars and Alex Jones’s Alex Jones

A couple of years ago, if somebody mentioned they listened to Infowars, you mostly figured they liked weird stories – maybe enjoyed playing games like Illuminati, maybe liked twisty horror manga by Junji Ito. You didn’t assume they were calling to threaten the parents of Sandy Hook children, in the same way you don’t assume somebody who “loves” Harry Potter has tried to break into one of the movie sets wrapped only in a towel, or gotten plastic surgery to look more like Snape.

Prior to Pizzagate, you’d guess that anybody who talked about something like Pizzagate was in on the joke. And you’d probably be right! Nobody was breaking in to try to steal the Warren Commission’s sealed files, or trying to deliver vigilante justice against whoever “really killed JFK.”

I’m writing about this mostly because I think it’s tempting to say “this has always been there, and we missed it.” Not exactly. Plenty of the non-hardcore fans have been baffled by Alex Jones’s embrace of Trump, which is, from an anti-establishment, trust-no-one perspective, selling out.

Sure, Jones evangelized nuts theories about Obama for 8 years, but before that, he evangelized nuts theories about Dubya. Jones saying Trump is on the level when he could be diving into Russia stuff or banking conspiracy stuff, or claiming Steve Bannon is in contact with aliens, seems off-brand.

Maybe it’s because Alex Jones’s Alex Jones was a guy named Gary Allen, a member of the John Birch Society and speechwriter for segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace. He wrote a book called None Dare Call It Conspiracy, popular during the 1972 Nixon presidential campaign, about how Eisenhower was a secret communist who hated America, and blah blah blah new world order. (Chavez and MLK also obviously evil.)

Jones read it as a teenager, after a family move and some encounters with a criminal police department. He’s credited it multiple times with opening his eyes.

I’m pretty sure Gary Allen would love Trump.

Coincidentally, Allen’s real son, Mike, is a mainstream political journalist; he co-founced AXIOS, and used to be the head political writer for Politico. He’s said he never read anything by his dad.

In other words, Infowars, AXIOS, and Politico are all fake media controlled by Trump, a secret communist trying to destroy America. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST. (And it’s untrue. But it sure is fun and easy to connect things to other things.)

Missing Black Girls in DC, a clarification

A reporter at NBC’s (very reliable) local Washington, DC station spoke to representatives at the police department and one of the founders of the Black and Missing Foundation, and says there has never been a day when 14 young black kids in DC have gone missing. Nor is the rate of disappearances higher than it’s been in the past. It is true that the police have recently started publicizing missing-person cases on social media (the opposite of “everybody’s ignoring this”), which is getting people found more quickly.

To quote the article:

So far this year, the District has logged a total of 501 cases of missing juveniles, many of them black or Latino, according to the police department. All but a handful have been solved.

Twenty-two juvenile cases remained open as of March 24, according to the department’s website. Police only had the photos of 13 of these youth, who are considered “critical missing persons.”

They’re not being kidnapped. Those 488 cases that have been solved? In 100% of them, the teen left voluntarily (i.e. ran away).

The wholesale kidnap of DC’s young black women appears to be fictional. No idea who made the popular (and false) graphics that went viral, or why. I know some of you have been worried; I was. I’m thankful to NBC4 for clearing this up.

Incidentally, NBC4 is also the home station of Meet the Press. Which is, I have just discovered, the longest-running TV program in U.S. history. It’s been going since 1947.

The Fury of Climate Change Deniers

I am a woman. Who is a feminist. Who is queer with straight privilege. Who is simultaneously a race traitor and an appropriating colonizer. Who is both an atheist and a Christian. Just last week, I literally advocated for a transition to full communism. A few months ago, you may recall I tried to help overthrow the U.S. electoral system.

However, the thing that consistently makes angry strangers appear to shout at me and demand I leave the internet is when I post about the scientific consensus on climate change and the need for legislation to deal with it.

I have to assume they know on some level it’s a real problem.

I have to assume they have faith that as long as they maintain control, they can keep me in the kitchen or out of the bathroom or whatever, and so I’m not scary. But the only way to get around climate change is to do the thing I’m saying.

Berta Caceres was murdered last year by a Honduran paramilitary squad, but you know what her dying didn’t change? Climate change happening. According to Global Witness, 185 environmental activists were murdered in 2015 alone – three people a week butchered as they tried to stop illegal logging and mining and drilling. People with money and guns didn’t like that. You know what’s still with us after their deaths?

Climate change.

Bullets can’t stop it. Screaming at strangers to leave the internet won’t stop it. There are no alternative facts. There is no spin that can save you. My conspiracy beats your conspiracy on account of being real.

That’s Just What They Want You To Do

Look, there are a lot of conspiracy theories and rumors going around, and some of them are probably real, but as you speculate about which ones those could be, please keep a hold on these two inarguably true things:

1. When something seriously evil happens that places innocent people in physical danger, that’s not a “distraction” we should ignore to look for the “real” threat. Keep looking for other threats, by all means! But while real people are under threat from something that has actually happened, you’re not “fooled” if you defend them. Holding your fire to keep your powder dry until the “real” threat looks a lot more like getting played than whatever theory you’ve heard that says standing up against oppression is “walking into their trap.”

2. Mass protests are having a measurable and widely-reported effect, according to both leaks and on-record eyewitness accounts from aides in the executive and legislative branches. They are the main thing having an effect. You have seen over and over again how Trump and Spicer and Conway have gotten shrill and paranoid whenever the national mood is mentioned, and how desperately they try to defend their legitimacy.

When you have called your congresspeople (which you’re doing, right?) you have probably noticed the strain in the voices of their staffers. That’s not business as usual. You can watch news broadcasts of town hall meetings and see how rattled congresspeople are.

It is really, REALLY unusual to not care what other people think about you. I’m not even talking about “your job is at risk.” I’m talking about how horrible it is when you think you are disliked by your peers. As humans, as social animals, we want to believe we’re good people and our work is appreciated and society will include and protect us. Even criminals want that, so badly. Even if you think Trump doesn’t care (he does) or Bannon doesn’t (fair enough), the people who will be carrying out orders are definitely affected by what they think the public at large expects of them.

So if your conspiracy theory says protests are useless, it is probably not a good theory, or at least that part of it is not good, and once again seems like it’s trying to tell you you’ll get more done by not doing anything right now, which is kind of silly don’t you think.


You want to say an election you won was illegitimate? Cool, I’m in. I demand a re-vote. Now.

Here’s what the Secretary of State of Massachusetts has to say. He is 100% on board for a nationwide revote.

New Hampshire’s attorney general says Trump’s accusation is totally bogus “unless you consider a gentleman from Massachusetts being an illegal immigrant. In the previous election cycle, we learned of a Massachusetts man who thought it would be more interesting to vote in New Hampshire. We investigated and prosecuted that individual, but that’s the closest thing I can tell you of an illegal immigrant voting in our state.”

What do your state’s secretary of state and attorney general say? Do they agree they totally fucked up their jobs and registered millions of illegal voters? Or are they ready to defend themselves and call the bluff of a serial liar?

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos says “We have multiple layers of safeguards in place to prevent illegal voting and remain constantly vigilant to guarantee that the voices of Texans at the ballot box are not muted by those who attempt to engage in abuse or fraud within our election system,” and AG Paxton says he’s only been involved in two voter fraud cases (both from a previous election). Looks like the fraud claims came from tweets by Gregg Phillips, a former Health and Human Services Commission executive, who knows all about votes because ?

Gregg Phillips runs a healthcare analytics firm in Austin, and it looks like he’s lunatic zero on this whole thing. Tweeted some nonsense which was picked up by Alex JonesInfowars which got it in front of Trump people.

To his credit: “When did a tweet become news?” Phillips told the American-Statesman. “I’m just like a guy. I’m an ordinary guy. There are billions of tweets every single day and because somebody picked it up, made something of something I wrote, all of a sudden the president-elect is talking about me? Seriously, is a tweet really news? Isn’t everything on Twitter fake?”