Friday, August 21, 2009

Problem with definitions.

I would wager that 75% or more of Americans believe one or more of the following:
  1. The moon landing was faked.
  2. The US government has communicated with aliens and/or is in possession of a wrecked UFO.
  3. 9/11 and/or Oklahoma City was an inside job.
  4. JFK, RFK, and/or MLK was bumped off by a shadowy cabal and not a lone gunman.
  5. Some secret organization runs, or attempts to run, the world for their own benefit.
  6. Vaccines are poisonous and/or fluoride in the drinking water is bad for you.
  7. The automakers and/or the oil companies had a 100mpg car but conspired to bury it.
Conversely, many people think some or all of the above statements are a little whacky. Notice one thing they have in common, though? None of them require their believers to belong to a "Hate Group".

In America you have the right to believe whatever you want, no matter how kooky anybody else thinks it is. I can just about guarantee that 99% of the people reading this hold one belief or another that I consider goofy, and I'm 100% certain that the reverse is true.

"Hate Group", however, is a phrase with a meaning, and that meaning isn't "People whose opinions I find silly". If I started thinking that is what it meant, why, then I might start hating people whose opinions I found silly, and if that isn't staring into the abyss overlong, I don't know what is.

51 comments:

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I don't avoid women, Mandrake. I just deny them my Essence.

Not Roberta X said...

Well, that's a relief.

Captcha: "nativer" Am not.

Robb Allen said...

I hate to bring it up, but the facts are clear that 9/11 was an inside job.

Once the terrorists got inside the cockpit and the planes got inside their respective targets...

Mad Saint Jack said...

I had a Prof who is big on the fluoride thing. From what I gathered ingesting fluoride doesn't do you any good. Any benefit comes from contact with your teeth.

Atom Smasher said...

I know a guy who thinks the Moon landings are fake. Totally smart, funny, and reasonable guy, but that's what he thinks.

perlhaqr said...

I'd believe that the automakers could make cars that got much better gas mileage, but they don't mostly due to government interference, not because of shadowy deals with the oil companies.

All that mandatory safety crap is heavy. Effective, but heavy.

Ken said...

The reported statistics for hybrid drivers pretty conclusively put the lie to #7, I think. To wit: Hybrid drivers, or at least Prius drivers (if I remember right), tend to drive more. If people had access to a 100-mpg car that was at least a tolerable driver, they'd drive the hell out it, just to make sure they could be seen being environmentally responsible.

TheRock said...

Well, the Oklahoma City bombing smells funny; not sure if that qualifies as an 'inside job.'

The rest of it is pretty much crap.

James E. Griffin said...

And then there are stories like the following, and everybody gets up in arms thinking it's a return to Jim Crow.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/422/story/898519.html

Anonymous said...

Wait! ... every single one of those things is true -- except for maybe the fake moon landing. That was actually filmed on Mars and they made it look like the Moon.

PS Just want to say how much I appreciate your blog and what you have to say here. I've been lurking for several weeks and now receive your posts via Google Reader. Excellent stuff, fun and true. Thanks!

theirritablearchitect said...

Does believing that the Federal Reserve is one of these 'secret organizations' that's running the country for its own benefit, count as a means for calling someone a loon?

If so, I guess I'm guilty, however, it's pretty out in the open, so I'd hardly classify it as secret.

Lorimor said...

There's no dearth of conspiracy theories swirling around Pearl Harbor either.

I'd say put it on your list, but I find lists silly. :)

Nathan said...

All that $3!^ was faked?

:-O

Say it ain't so!

Next thing, you'll be telling me an incompetent community organizer and a clown were elected President and Vice President.

Oh, wait.

Mark said...

#5 is definitely true - I'm certain that secretly, cats are in charge.

Ed Foster said...

Nathan, you are cold.

Anonymous said...

Some still believe in full length guide rods too. :)

"twidio" = if that's not a word, it deserves to be.

Myles said...

My dentist always talks about the fluoride in public water. Wouldn't drink out of the tap to save his life.

Matt G said...

I thought that you had overestimated your percentage of foil-hatters, until I got to #4. Yeah, there's a LOT of people that have bought into that conspiracy. I've taken two graduate level crime scene classes in which we found that it was not only likely that Oswald did the deed, but that, had he gone to trial on the evidence found, he would easily have been convicted on evidence that presented proof beyond a reasonable doubt. (Operative word: "Reasonable.")

I'm getting tired of the over-use of "Hate."

"Hate crimes" are crimes motivated by hate. Interesting to a sociologist, but to a criminologist, you can't show any efficacy in reducing hate crimes by enhancing the penalties.

"Hate groups" have turned, as you say, from a socio-political phenomenon describing organized movements against someone based on race, ethnicity, religious affiliations, etc, to now mean Those Meanies Who Vote Differently Than I Do.

Good Gawd. We're rocketing toward balkinization faster than ever!

Steve said...

Well, maybe the one about RFK, but I was only 10 at the time, so I'm not too clear on that one.

And, yeah, #5 is true, at least in America, cats are trying to run everything.
______

Anonymous - what are these "full length guide rods" of which you speak?

José Giganté said...

Is it OK to hope #5 is true?? I mean, if a secret organization isn't running this whole shebang and hasn't manufactured the election results over the last several years, that means that we are totally a) stupid as a society and b) screwed.

Nathan said...

Thanks, Ed.

Mad Saint Jack said...

Well...

The Democratic Party isn't secret.

og said...

Me, I want to know what all this stuff ids about endangered feces.

Anonymous said...

And 10% of the public thinks Elvis is alive and in witness protection. Half of them think that if you mail him a letter, the USPS will deliver it to him...

Anonymous said...

Fluoride is a toxic byproduct from making aluminum.There are three ways to dispose of it.Dump it illegally,pay hazardous waste fees to have it dumped legally,or convince cities to pay for it.The mayor of our county(jerry slyhog)made deals with Alcoa to dispose of the toxin and dump it into the Blount county water supply.

rickn8or said...

Suuure the manufacturers can build a 100-mpg car.
But don't be surprised when it looks a lot like a Honda Cub 50.

Ed Foster said...

I'd be willing to bet I could build a car that could do 70-85 mpg.

Of course it would be the size of a VW beetle or Renault 2CV (supposedly meaning 2 horsepower Coasting Vigourously), have an aircooled two cylinder diesel, and do 0 to 60 in half a minute. If you could handle the 6 speed manual well, that is.

I could even stick in air. 1,500 BTU's per person/hr.,average 2 people load, minus convection cooling from airflow, call it about a 3% to 4% loss in mileage when it's running.

But leave the windows down when you park it, because it's only going to be able to keep the car cool, not make it cool.

American drivers expect a refrigerator that brings a car down from 125 degrees to 65 degrees in 45 seconds. Ain't no way I'm pissing away almost 20% of my ponies on that.

I could tune the diesel to sound like a Harley by going to an irregular throw on the crank, but only on the sport model, with bigger bearings.

I wonder how many Government Motors could crank out in a year? And how many would still be sitting on the lot three years later?

ChrisTheEngineer said...

I can assure you all that #5 is true. I'm attempting to run the world for my own benefit, and I'm organized. Sadly, I'm not very good at it. And since none of you will believe it, secrecy is preserved.

mts1 said...

I can't claim to not have any silly notions, even if they're not the ones you listed. Some stuff I think might hold some water that other people may claim is stupid:

1) that GM helped kill off the streetcars to sell its buses.

2) that Iraq had WMD's, but shoved them off to Syria before the war began, Ba'ath (the Iraqi branch) to Ba'ath (the Syrian group).

3) that Neanderthals were bred out of existence into the greater Cro Magnon population. Considering how people nowadays will mate with anything, and I mean anything, someone's going to tell me they all, 100%, said yuck when seeing a Neanderthal chick, especially after a few jugs of mead?

4) that there's a solid hunch that O is a natural born citizen, but there's still enough "cloud on the title to prevent a closing" in my mind, to put it in real estate sales terms.

5) Warren Harding was our first black president, and a natural born citizen for sure.

Dixie said...

To quote my college English prof: "Conspiracy theories are the crutches of feeble minds."

Zendo Deb said...

How about a lone gunman in the pay of a shadowy cabal?

And I have been told that certain textbooks in the area of water treatment say "fluoride in drinking water causes communism."

RevolverRob said...

Anyone else notice that JFK, RFK, and MLK have something in common? K,K,K...I think I know who did it...

Seriously, who DOESN'T believe that some secret organization is running the world for its benefit? I personally believe it is the aliens that the U.S. government is hiding and denying.

-Rob

Anonymous said...

I believe everything I read here...

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/

Anonymous said...

Keep this in mind folks,
the "conspiracies" of the 1990s are in fact, the headlines of today.

Case closed

Anonymous said...

1. I agree, not faked
2. This is not a big stretch at all
3. This is not a big stretch at all
4. This is not a big stretch at all
5. This is in fact, contained in
Bible verses. If you think God's word is phoney, you will be changing your mind, eventually
6.If you take this newest untested flu vaccine, you are a fool
7. Still, not a big stretch here

the pawnbroker said...

well, five of those are just silly...the other two are self-evident and intertwined.

as r.rob alluded to above, the world certainly "is" being quasi-run by an organization fka u.s. gov which now "is" controlled by the alien(s) that took over a few months back. of course, as brother bill famously stated, it's a matter of what the definition of "is" is...

so, #'s 2 and 5? yep.

jtc

Ed Rasimus said...

One need not scratch too deeply before the endemic looniness of the uneducated American population is exposed. We've been dumbed-down and propagandized to the point where few can reason or engage in rational debate any more.

"Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot."

Alas, now gone forever.

Steve Skubinna said...

I keep having arguments with people about that last one. You know the guys, the ones who will tell you of the students at MIT who invented a 200 mpg carburetor, and Exxon bought it and swore them to secrecy.

My response is always "how could you possibly keep something like that under wraps? Toyota would have ninjas stalking the halls of Exxon looking for the plans and models, the federal government would bury them in lawyers, and if Ford could actually build a 200 mpg SUV you think they wouldn't be all over it like stink on shit?"

The conspirazoid usually scruntches up his face as he attempts to process this argument, then explains "They made them sign non disclosure agreements!"

Yeah, right. And then the inventors pocketed the cash and made a beeline for the networks, and Exxon was too busy doing PR damage control and fending off the antitrust lawyers to take then to court.

Turk Turon said...

Could be a riff on the Jeff Foxworthy routine: "Do you believe in the Lone Gunman Theory but think that Single-Payer Healthcare can't work? Then you just might be a Hate Group. If you think that Elvis is alive but Ted Kennedy is dead, then you just might be a Hate Group."

Joseph said...

WV: Fackfu

I believe this is an indicator that a secret cabal is attempting to influence our vocabulary through Word Verification!

And...who is to say I am not a secret member of this cabal!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

JimB said...

I wouldn't havsaid a thig except my word ver = tednester now it'smoomooftyll

theirritablearchitect said...

I could tune the diesel to sound like a Harley by going to an irregular throw on the crank, but only on the sport model, with bigger bearings."

Kinda like running a 10-cylinders in a 90 degree 'V' block. Wicked sound in an odd-fire configuration.

I'd like to hear your engine, honestly.

T.Stahl said...

7. is a lie. The truth is:

VW and Audi built cars that could give you 100mpg but too few people bought them.

http://the-hessian.blogspot.com/2008/08/one-hundred-miles-per-gallon.html

John B said...

I hate burnt toast.
I hate the fact that cable tv costs almost 100 dollars, and there isn't anything watchable.
I hate the fact that 24 hour customer service is a relic of the past.

I offer a thought. From a feller named Voltaire.

A government that will not allow you to hate, is not worthy of your love.

Will said...

I read recently that a GM engineer told a car mag writer that they have a Corvette that makes about 500 HP and gets 30 mpg. They can't sell it because right now it would cost over $80k to build it. (I wasn't clear if that was just for the engine and systems, or a complete car.) He said it would be a few years before they would be able to get the costs to a reasonable level.

If you want to read a very interesting investigation into the JFK death, look for a book titled "Mortal Error". If you are a gun person, it will be fascinating.

Kristopher said...

Mad Saint Jack: Fluoride is only really useful when growing up. It causes newly formed enamel to contain a large fraction of Fluorapatite crystals in addition to crystalline Calcium Phosphate.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I never knew I was such a moonbat.

#2 would be fun, but is most likely a huge practical joke started by the astronauts. (See, tied in with #5!!)

#3. OKC has a lot of queer facts associated with it. Seems like a long distance for an ANFO blast wave to do that much damage with such a strong cardiod pattern. . . but hey, Oklahoma contractors have been on the take for so long, the building might have been made of paper mache' for all we know. Not an inside job per se; just a poorly investigated and/or poorly reported job. And shoddy building practices. :)

6. well, yes and no. Some vaccines have some pretty nasty side effects down the road, but most single disease vaccines adminstered separately are beneficial. I think the flouride can do no good after it leaves your teeth. If halogens were good for us we'd drink the laundry bleach as a health spritzer, and wash it down with an povidone iodine chaser.

wv = messe. :) Like my writing!

noflashbang said...

On #5:
While I don't believe it to be true, here is some food for thought.
Its all about the “illusion of choice.” Think about it, all an organization has to do is find two people they can control, then let people vote on which they want, no matter how the people decide the organization gets someone they can control and the people are none the wiser. All I'm saying is that maybe the shadow organization is not rigging votes for one candidate, they are just rigging the candidates we get to vote on.

Steve Skubinna said...

noflahs, you still don't get it. It makes no difference who we vote for or elect, they're all Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I believe in 1, 2 and 5! Does that mean I hate someone?

PaxAmericana said...

Skubinna,

If any of those inventions are deemed important by the military, there will be very serious ramifications if you ignore their orders for silence. Toyota would not dare to touch anything in that case.