The war that dare not speaks its name, continued

By chance, right after I wrote the post about “trust” and the Iraq war, I spent two hours next to a real hard-core conspiracy theorist on my flight through Atlanta (I suspect the guy was a Ron Paul supporter, but I’m not sure).

The guy was nuts. He believes that 9/11 was an inside job; in particular, he thinks that the Pentagon was hit with a missile not a plane and that the towers went down because Marvin Bush had the beams painted with thermalite (which burns at a high enough temperature to melt beams, he says). His take is that the whole thing was to justify a war that Bush wanted to fight.

He didn’t like Obama either and thinks that the health care plan is Marxist. (He wasn’t totally crazy on the health care issue, because he agreed there needed to be some safety net and that expanding Medicare/Medicaid to cover everyone might be a good idea.) He thinks the Federal Reserve and the income tax should be abolished, though he does favor raising corporate taxes. It got a lot crazier than that — he says that every war this century was started by bankers, that Wall Street funded Hitler, that World War I was started by bankers because German was bartering instead of using currency, that our income tax only services the federal debt and is not used for governmental expenditures, and that this whole system exists primarily to benefit the Rothschild family.

I don’t know how long this guy has believed all this stuff, but I got the impression he started thinking this way after 9/11 (he said he lost his job in the airline industry when travel went down as a result of 9/11).

I’m not saying this guy is necessarily typical of anything, but I can’t think of a better example of someone who doesn’t trust the system. And the basis for his lack of trust is paranoia about banks and wars. I didn’t hear one thing about Tiger Woods or politicians who fool around on their wives, that’s for sure.

People are crazy but in some ways they’re not quite as dumb as the media thinks. Bush did push us into a baseless war and rich bankers do rip everyone off, just not in the way that some conspiracy theorists think.

97 replies
  1. 1
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    I heard earlier today he was bi polar. Don’t know for sure, and that alone is not any indicator as many people have that awful affliction and don’t do violence, but it does throw some mental illness into the equation, if true, and if untreated.

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    The guy I sat next to?

  3. 3
    Chad S says:

    He had some rant about how private property was the greatest force in the world and that any government who try to limit those rights should be brought down…so I’m guessing he wasn’t some leftist.

  4. 4
    Ron Beasley says:

    Everything he said makes sense to me.
    I used to be crazy but I’m alright now!

  5. 5
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Wingers tend to feel that treatment for mental illness is a sign of weakness – and therefore choose to spiral further and further into any madness that comes for them.

  6. 6
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    The guy I sat next to?

    wut? heard on the teevee this morn, unless I dreamed it.

  7. 7
    Citizen_X says:

    I think the General and Chad are talking about the shoot-the-Pentagon-with-a-pistol guy, not the guy on Doug’s plane. Right?

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    @DougJ: First of all I hope you took a long shower after you got to your destination. Second of all, no doubt this guy buys into all of this cwap. The reason why is simple: all of his information sources are confirming his world views. Therefore he has no reason to question their accuracy, and would react badly (at least initially) to anything that puts those views into question. Conspiracy theories do not come out of vacuums. Humans have an innate need to see patterns even where none exist, that’s all this is, the guy buys there’s a there there. I hope you didn’t laugh too hard.

  9. 9
    gbear says:

    DougJ, you should have told the guy that the flight crew was really interested in hearing his theories right now.

  10. 10
    AhabTRuler says:

    A guy I work with insists that there were bombs on board the airplanes that stuck the world trade center towers, although he can’t explain to me what sort of explosives would improve upon ~200 tons of aircraft and jet fuel traveling ~450 kts.

    @gbear: I lol’d.

  11. 11
    mr. whipple says:

    This is pretty standard fare on late night AM radio.

    Adjust your antenna accordingly, and you might pick up the signal, also.

  12. 12
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    edit oh never mind, I can’t read too good no how. Too many complex sentences in this thread for a dweeb like me to cipher.

  13. 13
    JGabriel says:

    @Citizen_X:

    I think the General and Chad are talking about the shoot-the-Pentagon-with-a-pistol guy …

    Oh. I though they were talking about Bush. Or maybe Cheney.

    .

  14. 14
    DougJ says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Oh, I see.

  15. 15
    kth says:

    If they found their conspiracy theories genuinely frightening, they wouldn’t believe them. Rather they get some kind of pleasure out of them. Like maybe they alone are in the know, and all the rest of us are living in a fool’s paradise. But there’s definitely a positive desire to believe things like this.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    We all know what “bankers” and “Rothschilds” refer to, right?

    Same old paranoia wrapped up in new clothes. I’m surprised he didn’t unload the “Israel warned Jews to get out of the WTC!” canard on you, too.

  17. 17
    Max Power says:

    Bush did push us into a baseless war and rich bankers do rip everyone off, just not in the way that some conspiracy theorists think.

    Sound like this guy will get on The O’Reilly Factor as a “liberal activist”. Hates Bush! Thinks we were lied into a war!

    But you’d think that even conspiracy theorists would figure out that they’d gone too far when they start explaining how Jewish Bankers were secretly funding Hitler.

    Apparently “too stupid to breathe” is just an expression.

  18. 18
    trollhattan says:

    @ DougJ,

    Did you have a clipboard handy so you could flowchart the krazy as as your seatmate was carrying forth?

    I can’t keep more than four things in my head at one time so there’s no way I could recall all those spiffy theories.

    FWIW I’ve met enough similar folks to believe they’re uncomfortably common. They can’t all be motormouths so there are more than we know (although I’ll bet there’s a strong statistical correlation between conspiracy buffs and the desire to share their hobby with any handy captive audience).

  19. 19
    DougJ says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yeah, you’re right. When I hear Rothschild, I think Lynn de Forrester, Mouton, and Lafite, and I forget that the anti-Semitism angle.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DougJ:

    If you ever read Michael Lind’s Up From Conservatism, he has a fascinating story about helping to edit one of Pat Robertson’s books and discovering that Robertson was quoting from anti-Semitic literature but leaving out the word “Jewish” to disguise it. Fred Clark at Slacktivist has some really good coverage in his “Left Behind” commentary about how Tim LaHaye has maintained all of his old anti-Semitic John Bircher beliefs by just leaving out that one telling word.

    It’s a huge undercurrent on the right that no one wants to talk about. Especially people like, say, Kristol or Abramoff.

  22. 22
    Mark S. says:

    @kth:

    If they found their conspiracy theories genuinely frightening, they wouldn’t believe them. Rather they get some kind of pleasure out of them. Like maybe they alone are in the know, and all the rest of us are living in a fool’s paradise.

    That’s my take on the overwhelming majority of these guys and gals. They’ve been around forever.

    He didn’t like Obama either and thinks that the health care plan is Marxist. (He wasn’t totally crazy on the health care issue, because he agreed there needed to be some safety net and that expanding Medicare/Medicaid to cover everyone might be a good idea.)

    I wonder if the media would consider him one of the vaunted independent voters that every politician needs to court.

  23. 23
    mr. whipple says:

    @DougJ:

    I think a lot of people don’t even realize there is that angle there, let alone subscribe to it. It’s just some hazy, powerful and shadowy force controlling everything.

  24. 24
    Robert Waldmann says:

    “He … thinks that the health care plan is Marxist. (He wasn’t totally crazy on the health care issue, because he agreed …that expanding Medicare/Medicaid to cover everyone might be a good idea.)” Look the guy is either totally crazy on health care or a Marxist. If the current plan is Marxist, then Medicare for all is extremely Marxist (say Maoist). I take it that he is a Maoist Ron Paul supporter (but not totally crazy on everything).

  25. 25
    SpotWeld says:

    DougJ seems to have avoided any specific political classification of this guy. But here in the comments there has already been some speculation.

    In a more charged message board there would already be a near flame war on who this guy “belonged to”.

    Is this a new trend, or have we always tried to fit the nut-jobs into specific party molds?

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mr. whipple:

    It is and it isn’t. A lot of old conservatives from the 1950s (ie Robertson, Birchers, etc.) injected this stuff into the discourse, but as anti-Semitism started being less acceptable (and as they started recruiting people like Irving Kristol), they kept the same rhetoric but took out the specific references to Jews.

    “Marxists” was also an anti-Semitic reference, though no one cares anymore since the Soviet Union dissolved.

    ETA: So I’m guessing that the guy DougJ talked to had no idea he was spouting old anti-Semitic tropes when he complained about bankers and Rothschilds since he seems to have left off the anti-Israel part of the 9/11 paranoia.

  27. 27
    tim says:

    Regardless of the accuracy or not of your seatmate’s ideas, once again it is depressing how people like you seek to shut down discussion of anything that seeks to question the media/government-approved 9/11 narrative, which is full of holes.

    It is just curious why you choose to be an unquestioning tool in this regard. What do you gain from your pose, DougJ? A feeling of superiority here at BJ? A paycheck from someone? Hell I don’t know…but I know the official 9/11 story is bullshit.

  28. 28
    mr. whipple says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I did not know that. When I hear Rothschild, it evokes nothing in me, except maybe a cigar.

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SpotWeld:

    I think we’re back in the same weeds that we were when that nutjob crashed his plane into the IRS building: we’re seeing things that are political but not necessarily partisan. You can roughly classify this guy as being on the right, but that doesn’t always translate into “Republican voter.”

    Republicans represent a big chunk of the right and of conservatives, but they definitely aren’t the only ones on the right.

  30. 30
    Maude says:

    @Yutsano: Oh wow!
    You made up a new word, cwap. I like it.
    I was at a seminar years ago with a bunch of shrinks. There were a fair number that had that Trilateral Commision etc. paranoia and they were as serious as a Cheney heart attack.

  31. 31
    DougJ says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    I guess I didn’t recognize him without the khaki windbreaker.

  32. 32
    Mark S. says:

    @tim:

    Good point. So Doug, did you get a paycheck for writing that?

    Can you tell me how to get one too?

  33. 33
    DougJ says:

    @tim:

    You really think Marvin Bush painted the beams with thermolite? The guy’s story was nuts. And there were other details he gave that just weren’t true.

  34. 34
    mr. whipple says:

    @Mark S.:

    He’s onto Doug. He knows.

    Booga booga!

  35. 35
    DougJ says:

    @tim:

    Hell I don’t know…but I know the official 9/11 story is bullshit.

    If so, all the more reason to be careful about counter theories. If there is an alternative theory that is correct, it is being drowned out by ridiculous ones.

  36. 36
    Napoleon says:

    Wacko alert!!!

  37. 37
    gbear says:

    Heck. I feel like a superior person just from reading DougJ.

  38. 38
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @tim: I hear ya dude. No one wants to talk about the Elvis charade. I think he’s living in Tahiti on Bwando’s old island, pinching native girls and sucking down Pina Coladas. He’s like 87 by now, and still laughing his ass off.

  39. 39
    mr. whipple says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    The gvt keeps Elvis locked up in Area 51. Shhhh.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    Here’s my crazy 9/11 theory:

    When W got into office, he kept having all of these meetings with Clinton officials who told him that Osama bin Laden was a very dangerous man. So he went to talk to his old friend, Prince Bandar, who reassured him that bin Laden was a fuckup who talked big and there was no way he’d be able to pull off a large-scale attack.

    That expression on Bush’s face at that elementary school? It’s, “Oh, shit, Bandar was wrong.”

  41. 41
    gbear says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: ..and hanging out with Kenneth Lay.

  42. 42
    AhabTRuler says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: And Jim Morrison tends bar somewhere in Central America. Everyone knows that most Rock ‘n’ Rollers are deep-cover CIA operatives. Buddy Holly is on the far-side Moon Base working on decoding the alien signals; Janis Joplin and Ron McKernan monitor signals from a lair underground Youngstown, OH; Kurt Cobain maintains a missile battery deep in the Pacific ocean, and John Denver maintains a constant watch from his experimental airship disguised as a cloud.

    Of course, it is true that no one quite knew who John Lennon was working for (thus he was a ‘phony’), which is why he was killed for real.

  43. 43
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    Of course, it is true that no one quite knew who John Lennon was working for

    Self employed God.

  44. 44
    wasabi gasp says:

    Sounds like a 21st century Forrest Gump. Life is like a ticking box of chocolates.

  45. 45
    AhabTRuler says:

    bin Laden was a fuckup who talked big

    “Don’t worry, George, he’s a pathertic disappointment. His father’s been covering for him since he was a teenager…”

  46. 46
    AhabTRuler says:

    Self employed God.

    A real god would have been able to hit the low note in “Loser”.

  47. 47
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    Doug,

    Everythiing you’ve said about the guy makes him sound like this college acquaintance of mine. Was he about 31 years old, named Greg?

  48. 48
    Jager says:

    Gee Doug, I thought you were sitting next to my brother in law, until the guy said he lost his job at the airlines…

  49. 49
    Jess says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    “Don’t worry, George, he’s a pathertic disappointment. His father’s been covering for him since he was a teenager…”

    Win.

    The sad thing is that this guy is really not that much more deluded about the way the world works than any other American voter…

  50. 50
    iLarynx says:

    These nuts are everywhere. Slightly different flavors of their crazy with each one, but they’re all from the same bag o’ nuts.

    Beyond all the silly logistical/physical problems with “an inside job”, there’s the Bush reaction. Had this been planned, W wouldn’t have let himself look like the deer-in-the-headlights flat-footed moron reading “My Pet Goat.” They would have handed him a bullhorn right there in the schoolroom to read his rallying cry for the nation. The day after inauguration, they would have proposed outrageous Billions in anti-terror defense (instead of this), knowing that the Dems would object or at least, reduce the amount. Then, when 9-11 happened, the GOP would point at the Dems saying, “THEY let it happen! We tried to defend the country, but the Dems wouldn’t let us, and look what happened!” The Dems would have then been out of power for a generation.

  51. 51
    DougJ says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    And Jim Morrison tends bar somewhere in Central America.

    Living under the assumed name Mojo Risen.

  52. 52
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My take on 9/11 is even simpler than that.

    Bush and Co. were willing to let a major terrorist attack happen on U.S. soil to justify invading Iraq. They just either underestimated the scale of the operation, or the hijackers succeeded beyond their wildest dreams by taking down both of the Twin Towers.

    The GOP are the ones that leave s00per-sekrit fundraising plans in their hotel rooms, remember? The odds that they could have engineered 9/11 with no one spilling the beans approaches the same likelihood that I will spontaneously turn into a wildebeest.

  53. 53
    Matt says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned him as a possible LaRouche guy. But then I guess that’s because I lived in DC for a few years and on a college campus since.

  54. 54
    srv says:

    Doug, I was just f’ing with you. Didn’t you recognize the secret Balloon-Juice handshake?

  55. 55
    Mike Kay says:

    and that this whole system exists primarily to benefit the Rothschild family.

    You should have told him McCain was backed by Lady Lynn Forster de Rothschild.

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    I’ll get even simpler: I think they either thought it would never succeed and they’d have someone like the Millennium bomber to parade in front of the cameras to gin up for the attack on Iraq, or they thought it was going to be (relatively) small, like a train or two being blown up. I think they really were taken aback by how large and successful the attack was. After all, it was bunch of wogs living in caves! How could they successfully attack the United States of America?

    I like to think that Bush had at least a few minutes of thinking, “What have I done?” that morning but I’m probably giving him too much credit.

  57. 57
    DarrenG says:

    Guy just sounds like a fairly credulous late-night AM radio listener, as someone speculated already,

    Most of that stuff is straight out of Jones, Noory, Rense, et al. A weird mix of old Bircher nuttiness combined with some new stuff from West Glennbeckistan.

  58. 58
    DougJ says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I already had the feeling he hated McCain.

  59. 59
    Yutsano says:

    @DarrenG:

    West Glennbeckistan

    So when does Obama order the strafe bombing?

  60. 60
    AhabTRuler says:

    @DougJ: No, no, no, that’s too obvious. His name is Mr. Nesir Ojom.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Incompetence is always more likely than evil.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @AhabTRuler: Hey, I know that guy! The SOB owes me money.

  63. 63
    Liberty60 says:

    People are crazy but in some ways they’re not quite as dumb as the media thinks. Bush did push us into a baseless war and rich bankers do rip everyone off, just not in the way that some conspiracy theorists think.

    There was this episode of The X Files where Mulder is hot on the trail of the gummint conspiracy, and suddenly turns a corner and meets….Alex Trebek, the Jeopardy host, who is in on the conspiracy.

    He exclaims about how that is a perfect thing for the government to do, create a conspiracy so wild, so bizarre, that it discredits anyone who speaks about it.

    Sometimes when I put on my tinfoil hat I have to wonder if the Truthers are not actually a false flag conspiracy to discredit anyone who accuses the bankers and politicians of colluding together.

    Except, as ever, the worst conspiracies are not hidden- they are published on the front page of the NY Times, in plain sight; Saddam has WMDs, we absolutely MUST give a Trillion dollars to AIG/ Goldman Sachs, and everyone knows that America is a center-right nation and tax cuts pay for themselves.

  64. 64

    The funny thing about that conspiracy theory regarding investment banks and their ancillaries and corporate plutocrats (to be distinguished from simple corporate business) is that their short term thinking results in the same outcomes that the conspiracy nuts proclaim. Conspiracy theories demand extremely high levels of competence and success at keeping secrets – something in very short supply in this nation. I wonder if the con-nuts’ own awareness of their lack of competence makes them assume there is a good supply of such near the top – since nobody lets them near there.

    The natural outcomes of stupid behavior can look predetermined and the result of planning, despite being no more than the actions of stupid and shortsighted people.

  65. 65
    Jrod says:

    Is it really so crazy to think that the wealthy and powerful might do bad things if it helps them obtain more wealth and power?

    If a specific conspiracy theory doesn’t match up with known facts, then sure, it’s wrong. Lots of conspiracy researchers have in fact lost their marbles. That doesn’t change the fact that powerful people will conspire together to safeguard and expand their power.

    Ah, but never mind. If you suggest that maybe bankers are involved in world politics in any way, you’re just an anti-semite, like that blackguard Taibbi. If you think that people who profit immensely from war might have a hand in starting those wars you’re just a crazy lunatic tinfoil hat wearing weirdo. Of course.

    That nutso conspiracy freak Eisenhower thinks we should be worried about a military-industrial complex? What a tool! Benjamin Disraeli says the world is run by forces unknown by those outside of power? Well, what the fuck would he know?

  66. 66
    Nat says:

    Doug, you must not get out much.

    This country is chock full of these people. You should have asked him what level of subscription he has to Alex Jones. Building 7. Thermite. Inside job. But there is more, much more: Chemtrails. The ‘moon landing’. Who actually killed Kennedy. ‘Global warming’. The 107,000 railroad cars with shackles. The internment camps. Culling the herd. The 12 families of the Illuminati. The Trilateral Commission, the Bilderburgs, the Bohemian Grove. Yeah, and the Rothschilds. If the guy wasn’t a full blown anti-semite he is well on his way. Next time ask if he knows the number of Jews in the Obama administration. The Bush administration… The Clinton administration. Rahm is a Mossad ninja killer. Ron Paul: of course!

    Swim around in this cess pool a while and it will be quite clear that our species is doomed.

  67. 67
    priscianus jr says:

    DougJ,
    That’s funny, I also believe 9/11 was an inside job. Very inside. Clearly Bush did NOT know about it. Don’t know what the Pentagon was hit with, but I doubt it was a big airliner. The thermalite theory is extremely plausible.
    I don’t agree that the whole thing was to justify a war that Bush wanted to fight. It was surely done to justify a war or two, but not because of Bush. Wall Street did fund the RISE of Hitler, and most wars in the 20th century have been started by bankers. In closing — I am not a nut, racist, antisemite, or tea partier, and I strongly support President Obama.
    Oh yes, one more thing. I try to think for myself, and I don’t like stereotypes.

  68. 68
    dSquib says:

    Bush did push us into a baseless war and rich bankers do rip everyone off, just not in the way that some conspiracy theorists think

    But those ARE conspiracy theories. Very well founded conspiracy theories.

    I’d wager that just about everyone who ever paid attention to politics or business in the least has believed in some kind of conspiracy theory.

  69. 69
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No, no, no. He’s Thomas Friedman’s regular cabdriver when he’s in Pakistan.

  70. 70
    batgirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep, I’m surprised how few here failed to recognize the anti-Semitic tropes.

    Maybe I’m more aware of it because populist movements, which often look for scapegoats, rarely (never?) work out too well for Jews. I don’t agree with David Frum politically but at least he recognizes the danger of Palin, the Tea Partiers, et. al. unlike his other Jewish conservative brethren that somehow think that they can control these people/groups for their own ends. (In fact, the conservative movement has already lost that battle. At one point Republicans thought they could play to the religious right and other extreme right points of view while controlling them — now the religious right and other wingnuts are the Republican party.)

    Frum wrote an article at Frum Forum a few months ago responding to a terrible article in the NR by a Jewish women about why Jewish women don’t like Palin. The article itself was filled with anti-Semitic tropes. But what I want to quote is the end of the article where he points out that the divisiveness that Palin encourages is dangerous for Jews:

    Just guessing, but I think the real and most fundamental problem Jews have with Palin is not her gleeful ignorance, but her willful divisiveness. More than any politician in memory, Palin seems to divide her fellow-Americans into first class and second class citizens, real Americans and not-so-real Americans. To do her justice, she has never said anything to suggest that Jews as Jews fall into the second, less-real, class. But Jews do tend to have an intuition that when this sort of line-drawing is done, we are likely to find ourselves on the wrong side.”

    BTW, I’m not suggesting this diviseness is just bad for Jews nor is Frum. It’s bad for African-Americans, Latinos, the GLBT community and others that find themselves often at the margins. Except what is different for the Jews is that they are no longer at the margins but realize how tentative that position may be. Of course the most oft cited example is Germany in the run up to WWII. The Jews had fought valiantly for the Kaiser in WWI and had been accepted into German society between the wars so much so that many German Jews refused to see the early signs of what the Nazi Party and Hitler meant for their future.

  71. 71
    roshan says:

    Could anyone explain why and how building 7 in the WTC complex came down? The BBC even reported that it had fallen before it had actually come down. Even the 9/11 commission couldn’t explain as to how the fire in the building started.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mxFRigYD3s

  72. 72
    AhabTRuler says:

    @priscianus jr:
    @roshan:
    Mr. Nesir Ojom would like to have a quick word with you inside the unmarked panel van, if you don’t mind.

  73. 73
    siphon says:

    While in the car a few weeks ago I was subjected to some rich fat cigar smoker who has an afternoon syndicated radio show. After about 30 minutes he got started on the international banking crisis and that as everyone knew WWII was caused by a series of banking failures. WTF!

    Total complete inability to dispute what was said by the college educated (graduate degree) RW voter in control of the radio.

    The first statement was an attempt to cover- ‘I didn’t hear him say that’-then onto more denial that there was anything wrong with what had been said. Some questioning of the cause of BOTH world wars. Total discarding of what he HAD known of the history. Brain rot caused by the wrong TV and radio shows.

    This type of idiocy has spread far beyond late night radio, and may actually winning converts among the formerly intelligent.

  74. 74
    Mark says:

    Conspiracy nuts, oh well, at least they know there’s a conspiracy – they just have some of the details wrong.

    I somehow met a real live fucked in the head republican. At my favorite hipster dive bar in San Francisco, no less. She went through the whole range of nutbag talking points: 1) the stimulus didn’t create one job; 2) health care reform is bad because it will hurt people who work in underwriting (my word), including some of her family members; 3) welfare fraud is rampant, while corporate fraud is inconsequential; and 4) the crowning achievement: “The confederate flag on the South Carolina state house is merely people from SC honoring their ancestors.”

    I told her everything she had to say was horseshit, told her was I sorry I even spoke to her, walked away. The saddest part is that she’s the girlfriend of a friend of a friend. He must be a real masochist.

  75. 75
    TooManyJens says:

    I think a few people’s Google Alerts just went off…

  76. 76
    Whispers says:

    If the media ever bothered to present important information in a systematic way, this guy might not be so confused about so many things.

    OK, he’d still probably be unglued, but when the TV news and mainstream newspapers never cover any issue in depth, it’s easy to see how a person gets totally confused.

  77. 77
    GregB says:

    It’s not a conspiracy when it is done right out in the open.

    People with money take care of other people with money.

    -G

  78. 78
    mclaren says:

    “[He thinks] Wall Street funded Hitler…”

    Indirectly. George H. W. Bush’s father helped put together funding on Wall Street for the Thyssen munitions combine, which produced a large portion of the explosives and some of the munitions used by Germany during WW II.

    This link contains a number of exaggerated and sensationalized claims, but it remains a fact that in 1942

    “…On Oct. 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of Nazi German banking operations in New York City which were being conducted by Prescott Bush.

    “Under the Trading with the Enemy Act, the government took over the Union Banking Corporation, in which Bush was a director. The U.S. Alien Property Custodian seized Union Banking Corp.’s stock shares, all of which were owned by Prescott Bush, E. Roland ‘Bunny’ Harriman, three Nazi executives, and two other associates of Bush. 1.

    In all fairness, Prescott Bush’s association with the Thyssen combine in Germany began in 1923, long before WW II loomed on the horizon. On the other hand, Prescott Bush and his partners in Brown Brothers Harriman did continue their business association with Thyssen even after FDR declared war on Germany on 7 December 1941.

    Incidentally, this was the start of the Bush family fortune.

  79. 79
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    A few days ago a perfectly sane acquaintance started posting about 9/11 truther theories on her Facebook page. Pentagon/missile, etc. (Though she couldn’t explain how all those people who claimed to see a plane could be lying.)

    Today I had a great visit with an old friend, an eccentric unrepentant hippie. As I was leaving she saw the Obama sticker on my car and launched into a tirade about how he admitted to being a Muslim, who paid for his college and world travel anyway?, and (knowing look) he was “connected, man, connected.” Connected since childhood, it seems, to shadowy people who were grooming him blah de blah de blah. She actually had spit coming out of her mouth, she was so unhinged. God.

    Later, I described the scene to another friend who has the most orderly mind and is the voice of reason in all things. After warning me that her bf was reading the latest truther book, she allowed as how she didn’t believe in any of those conspiracy theories …. “except the Kennedy conspiracy, of course.”

    I give up.

  80. 80
    Mark says:

    @Zuzu – that sucks. I tear people like that a new a-hole, so I think they’ve stopped telling me their conspiracy theories.

    But of course nobody wants to listen to me talk about the Republican conspiracy to destroy the government and make life miserable for 99% of Americans.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    (Though she couldn’t explain how all those people who claimed to see a plane could be lying.)

    I’d like to know what Troofers think happened to the hundreds of people on those planes if the planes didn’t crash into the WTC. Are they all buried in a shallow grave somewhere? Secretly held at Guantanamo? Abducted by aliens? Where did they all go if no planes crashed into the WTC or the Pentagon?

  82. 82
    Woodrowfan says:

    If this were Crooks and Liars this thread would have been overrun by Twoofers by now. So far only a handful of the loons have shown up. that’s a good sign.

    Link for any Twoofers who will read something that’s NOT approved by Alex Jones..

    http://www.911myths.com/index.html

  83. 83
    grumpy realist says:

    More evidence that the wacky left, when extended far enough, meets the whacky right.

    The conspiracies so far floating around seem to be:
    * 9-11 (Truthers–left)
    *Obama was born in Kenya (Birthers-right)
    *Conspiracy of world government (right)
    *it’s the JOOS! (both left and right)
    *moon landing faked (?!! who gets this one?)
    *contrails/earthquake machines/HAARP (?!! ditto)
    *UFOs/Area 51(tentatively left)
    *Rapture(right)

    Some of the free-floating conspiracy theories seem to flip between being associated with left and with right, usually with whatever change in the government occurred the last election.

    Would also propose that belief in said conspiracy theories is used by people as explanation as to why a) they have attained so little in life (it’s not my fault!) b) makes them feel important, c) makes them feel that they are living at an important point in world history (see (b)). Probably there’s a genetic component to this–people who are mentally vulnerable to developing a paranoid mentality. And once you develop it, the way you live your life (and keep running your thought processes) makes it very hard to get out of the trap. You’re also dead meat for any manipulator who wants to aim you towards any particular population/organization.

    Umberto Eco wrote a very astute essay at the time of the Jonestown Massacre about paranoid cult behavior, pointing out that historically, none of this was anything new.

  84. 84
    grumpy realist says:

    (??? I have no idea why my comment ended up getting formatted the way it did. Must have been the asterisks.)

  85. 85
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think the conspiracy theorists claim only that it wasn’t a plane that hit the Pentagon. I haven’t seen anyone claim that planes did not hit the World Trade Center.

  86. 86
    Freemark says:

    @Nat: This could be my brother. Absolutely everything is controlled by the Jews (aka Bankers). And he believes everything you mentioned.

    I don’t believe in most conspiracies. But like many myths and legends many are based on some real facts. Conspiracy nuts take the facts, fill in what they don’t know but want to believe, and then pretend its all irrefutable fact.

    The one conspiracy I do believe to some extent is the 9/11 one. Not all the weird details the nuts have come up with, but because of all the government lies and attempts to prevent real investigation.

    If nothing else the “Lone Gunman” Xfiles pilot episode in March 2001 makes me suspicious. Chris Carter stated before the show that he got most of his ideas from people in the CIA/NSA.

    In the pilot, the US ‘shadow government’ takes over a jetliner, cuts off its communication, and attempts to fly it into the WTC. The reason they do this is so they can blame a ‘middle-east dictator’ and invade that country. Seems way to coincidental for me. My best guess is someone new what was going to happen and tried to stop it by exposing it before hand. Figuring there was no way they would try it now that it was out in the open.

    And yes I know it sounds nuts but its harder for me to believe in such an amazing coincidence. Added with Cheney and PNAC’s desperate wish for a ‘Pearl Harbor’ type event and you get the foundation for a conspiracy theory.

  87. 87
    priscianus jr says:

    I was just kidding before. Of course 9/11 was carried out by 19 “lone nuts.” Anyway, in the end, it’s completely irrelevant “who” carried it out or precisely “what” happened or “why,” since the true cause was THE SELFISH GENE (Dawkins). Case closed, thanks for sharing.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Yes, but where did the 200+ people on that airliner go if it was a missile and not the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon? You have the same problem even if “only” the Pentagon was hit by a missile because you’re still missing an airliner and all of its passengers.

    On another note, I do think there’s a bit of underlying racism in the more extreme conspiracy theories as well. As in, the thinking seems to be that there’s no way a bunch of Middle Easterners could possibly plan and successfully execute an attack on the United States of America. Nope, it must have been the US government who did it, because otherwise some of those people in the Middle East are smarter than we are, and that can’t possibly be the case because, well, we’re Americans!

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Freemark:

    And yes I know it sounds nuts but its harder for me to believe in such an amazing coincidence. Added with Cheney and PNAC’s desperate wish for a ‘Pearl Harbor’ type event and you get the foundation for a conspiracy theory.

    People believed for years that the Reichstag fire must have secretly been set by the Nazis because it happened at such a convenient time for them and they were able to capitalize on it so well, but most research indicates that the arsonist acted alone. Frustrating as they are, coincidences do happen, and opportunists can act on them in ways that make one wonder.

    As I said before, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bush administration was expecting something along the lines of the first WTC bombing, but I seriously doubt they knew exactly what was going to happen. I think they were genuinely taken aback at the success and scale of the attack … and then promptly moved to exploit it.

  90. 90
    Freemark says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’d like to believe this didn’t involve anyone in the US Gov’t either ignoring or directly helping. And I have to say all of the evidence pointing to a conspiracy is circumstantial. But people in the US have been convicted of murder with less circumstantial evidence.

    But I have to say I don’t trust the CT’s ‘evidence’ either. I think, in my mind, it comes down to the fact the PNAC supporters were in position to make/let this happen and Cheney was the defacto head of the executive branch. And there should not be any doubt that Cheney would have no qualms in letting a few thousand die if it helped his goals.

    But I’m done talking about it. I don’t believe any of the other nutty conspiracies my brother talks about and I never admit my doubts about this one to him because that would be like adding gasoline to the fire. I’ll just say I think the circumstance surrounding 9/11 are pretty hinky and leave it at that.

  91. 91
    3D says:

    Doug J wrote:

    “@tim:
    Hell I don’t know…but I know the official 9/11 story is bullshit.”

    “If so, all the more reason to be careful about counter theories. If there is an alternative theory that is correct, it is being drowned out by ridiculous ones.”

    They’re being drowned out by ridiculous ones because only the ridiculous ones get media attention.

    That’s a way of diminishing actual scrutiny into the crimes — shuffle serious inquiry to the side, and act like the only people who would ever dare question the official story are Alex Jones-type teabagging nutballs.

    Judging by the condescending tone from some in the comments section here, and other places, toward anyone who thinks there’s something fishy about the 9/11 story, it seems to work.

  92. 92
    DBrown says:

    @Nat: You mean global warming denier’s in your list of wing nut ideas … that is, unless you are one of the wing nuts … wait, you read BJ and realize all those other things you said are in fact, wing nut ideas – right?

  93. 93
    Claudia says:

    If they found their conspiracy theories genuinely frightening, they wouldn’t believe them.

    said the Ostrich

  94. 94
    Ogami Itto says:

    The internment camps. Culling the herd. The 12 families of the Illuminati. The Trilateral Commission, the Bilderburgs, the Bohemian Grove.

    Actually it’s 13 families. Oops!

  95. 95
    Joey Giraud says:

    Amusing to see this thread drift from ridicule of conspiracy nuts to admissions of doubt and more refined theories. Those who mock most loudly are the ones with the most repressed doubts hence the most cognitive stress.

    The “Great Game” has been around a long time. The Muslims have been pissed at the West ever since we booted them out of Spain. The West must control the energy resources of the Middle East, as the Arabs and Persians will just squander it. China and Russia cannot be allowed to control it. The invasion of Iraq was neccesary for stability and to preserve the position of the Western powers as the benevolent managers of the world. This has been a long term project.

    You have to credit the conspirators for this: they managed to keep the death toll to a reasonable minimum.

  96. 96
    binzinerator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bush administration was expecting something along the lines of the first WTC bombing, but I seriously doubt they knew exactly what was going to happen. I think they were genuinely taken aback at the success and scale of the attack … and then promptly moved to exploit it.

    I wouldn’t be surprised either. In fact, judging from the following 7 years of the way the Bushies operated, this fits pretty well: fuckups that are hard to distinguish between letting it happen on purpose and sheer incompetence, plus the almost instantaneous and skillful actions to exploit the chaos and fear.

    Can negligence and incompetence be so stunning and devastating in outcome it becomes evil? Even in everyday life there is a level of recklessness when it endangers others where it is considered criminal — like the reckless operation of an automobile. But is that evil? Is the key here about intent? Can the banality of incompetence be so devastating that it really is evil? I’m inclined to think so.

    And if the WTC attack was LIHOP (combined with the Bushies’ now-infamous incompetence to see or believe what they were doing could result in) then how is it not evil that Bushco thought only 6 people might be killed in a botched attack? Are they less evil because they too were genuinely stunned when 3,000 died? And why would they be any less culpable?

    And even if you think that none of that wasn’t evil whether it happened by design or incompetent recklessness, that such gross and terrible incompetence can’t be considered evil, then what about the war they ginned up as a result of that? A war they launched by exploiting the the fear and anger that was the result of their own deadly incompetence? A war launched against people who hadn’t even attacked us? Now that was evil.

    These fuckers have shown they are perfectly capable of evil, stone cold evil. And they have shown they can be very skillful and adroit and effective in exploiting the opportunities that follows the catastrophes that their incompetence created.

    Why then should we ascribe to incompetence that which can be explained by evil when they have already demonstrated they are perfectly capable of being both evil and efficient when they want something?

  97. 97
    Claudia says:

    You have to credit the conspirators for this: they managed to keep the death toll to a reasonable minimum.

    Evidently only ‘we’ are countable?

    Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,339,771”
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.o.....eaths.html

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