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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Those Goddamn Sandy Hook Truthers Got Their Hooks In Denard Span

If you don’t know what a Sandy Hook Truther is, take a moment to read Max Read of Gawker’s illuminating look into their strange world. Basically, they are people who believe that the Sandy Hook shooting was actually some kind of elaborate hoax perpretrated by the government, because everything is an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the government in the eyes of these crazies. YouTube videos alleging such a hoax have been popping up all over the internet, poisoning the minds of people like Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span.

Pay no attention, Span.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:49 PM | 369 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: denard span, gun control, nationals, sandy hook, truthers, twins

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   1. John Northey Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4348727)
Oookay.... these people make the 'Obama wasn't born in the USA' crowd appear sane. Of course, I'm sure there is a LOT of crossover there too.

A sure sign of people with either super-easy to trick or have very low IQ's - believing this type of stuff. Probably also think Rose didn't bet on baseball still (just to bring it back to baseball of course).
   2. Transmission Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:23 AM (#4348730)
Oh, Denard...
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:31 AM (#4348737)
This is what we get for giving any credence to that Loose Change idiot and the "Bush blew up the levees during Katrina" crowd.
   4. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:34 AM (#4348741)
And the best part is these idiots are armed to the teeth with automatic weapons so when the finally lose their very tenuous grip on reality, the can take a shopping center worth of people down with them.
   5. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:35 AM (#4348742)
I guess Span wants to get traded to the D'Backs. Maybe he has a girlfriend in Phoenix or something.
   6. Steve Treder Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4348743)
And the best part is these idiots are armed to the teeth with automatic weapons so when the finally lose their very tenuous grip on reality, the can take a shopping center worth of people down with them.

That's what makes me glad to be an American!
   7. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4348745)
This is what we get for giving any credence to that Loose Change idiot and the "Bush blew up the levees during Katrina" crowd.
9/11 was an inside job.
   8. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:40 AM (#4348748)
And the best part is these idiots are armed to the teeth with automatic weapons so when the finally lose their very tenuous grip on reality, the can take a shopping center worth of people down with them.

but it will turn out to be a gummint hoax

(makes you think)
   9. Depressoteric Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:43 AM (#4348753)
Uh-oh...
   10. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:44 AM (#4348754)
Maybe he has a girlfriend in Phoenix or something.

Or Stanford.
   11. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4348755)
I find some of that stuff totally bizarre but I'm also not comfortable with trying to bully anyone who doesn't immediately accept the official story about any event. There's a whole spectrum of skepticism possible, from "that's odd, why don't they explain X" to "It's just like the fake the fake moon landings!". How often does the official story about almost anything turn out to be 100% right? Seldom, IMO. So, just as I'm not comfortable with the "this is another Capricorn One!" position, the enthusiasm to denigrate questioning the official story is a bit uncomfortable too.
   12. Austin Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:58 AM (#4348765)
One of my apartmentmates is studying abroad for several months, and the guy she found to sublet, who seemed completely normal when I met him, turns out to be a total nutjob who believes in just about every conspiracy theory known to man. I've luckily avoided hearing his opinion on Sandy Hook, but he's a 9/11 truther, and thinks Kennedy was deliberately assassinated by the government and Lincoln was shot by his wife as part of a conspiracy. He also thinks most contemporary scientific theories are a crock, funded by special interest groups who make sure the data are manipulated; he thinks any disease can be cured by a proper nutritional regimen, tumors can be destroyed by injecting them with baking soda, and so on. Unfortunately, he's very intent on convincing me and my roommates of his "theories." I've learned to spend as much time as possible in the library and out of the apartment.

The way I see it, it's definitely acceptable to be skeptical of the official account of any major incident. It's most certainly true that the government has strong incentives to release a story that makes them look good (or less bad). However, I think it's patently ridiculous to pretend that you're absolutely certain of your conspiracy theory. The evidence available from "independent" sources is rarely trustworthy, because they too have every incentive to exaggerate and manipulate facts to fit a narrative. Plus, when you start believing in a whole litany of conspiracy theories, you're just no longer credible. At that point, it's quite obvious that you're not looking at the evidence from a neutral perspective - you're approaching it from the starting viewpoint that the government is evil, and the only people who have the real truth are the valiant, independent-minded crusaders who reside in the dark corners of the Internet.
   13. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:01 AM (#4348767)
Ridiculous can and should be dismissed out of hand. The idea that we give folks like this and the Westboro folks free press and a chance to spread their idiocy makes us weaker and dumber as a nation. Just like with the gun issue, we are far too beholden to stuff written 250 years ago by guys who could never have imagined the world we live in. The reverence for the founding fathers makes nearly any step towards smart and practical impossible.
   14. Lassus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:04 AM (#4348770)
I take all my views on government conspiracy from the X-Files Lone Gunmen origin episode: "The same government who gave us Amtrak, not to mention the Susan B. Anthony coin?"
   15. DA Baracus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4348772)
The people who believe the government staged Sandy Hook, created Katrina and 9/11 and other batshit crazy ideas also think the government is incompetent. The cognitive dissonance is hilarious.
   16. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:11 AM (#4348773)
It's nice to have other people to feel superior to.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:18 AM (#4348779)
Hopefully Span is just thinking and wondering "WTF is wrong with some people?"
   18. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:24 AM (#4348787)
I take all my views on government conspiracy from the X-Files Lone Gunmen origin episode: "The same government who gave us Amtrak, not to mention the Susan B. Anthony coin?"
is there any way to watch "the lone gunmen" on streaming video? i do not think i've seen it on hulu or netflix or amazon, so i am beginning to believe that the existence of "the lone gunmen" is itself a conspiracy.
   19. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:30 AM (#4348789)
Or Stanford.
He said Stanford to impress people, but really they met at the University of Phoenix.

edited
   20. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:38 AM (#4348792)
And the best part is these idiots are armed to the teeth with automatic weapons

Nope.
   21. LargeBill Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:59 AM (#4348798)
15. DA Baracus uses plausible baseball judgment Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4348772)
The people who believe the government staged Sandy Hook, created Katrina and 9/11 and other batshit crazy ideas also think the government is incompetent.


Not sure there is a direct correlation. I don't believe in any of the conspiracy ideas you cited (or in the BS JFK theories) but I'm well aware that our government (like any bureaucracy) is fairly incompetent and highly inefficient. I was a government employee for 25 years and my wife has been one for 35 so far. With first hand experience it is much easier to accept reality of incompetence than it is to begin to comprehend the silly notion of more than a couple people keeping a secret. That is my problem with any of the various conspiracy ideas. They all require suspension of common sense and a child-like belief that dozens or hundreds of people could keep a secret. One person struggles to keep a secret. Every person involved beyond just one makes the chance of a secret staying secret exponentially unlikely.
   22. Bruce Chen's Huge Panamanian Robot Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:00 AM (#4348799)
is there any way to watch "the lone gunmen" on streaming video? i do not think i've seen it on hulu or netflix or amazon, so i am beginning to believe that the existence of "the lone gunmen" is itself a conspiracy.


The Lone Gunmen is a group on The X-Files that publishes an underground newspaper. The entire X-Files series is on Netflix.
   23. akrasian Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:08 AM (#4348800)
There was also a Lone Gunmen series - it didn't last very long.
   24. Bruce Chen's Huge Panamanian Robot Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:16 AM (#4348802)
I had no idea there was a spinoff. I'll have to look that up.
   25. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:19 AM (#4348803)
There was also a Lone Gunmen series - it didn't last very long.


The pilot episode for the Lone Gunmen series was about a secret cabal in the government that wanted to start a war (and increase the military budget).

So they planned to manufacture a terrorist attack...

in New York...

by flying a commercial airliner...

into the World Trade Center.

The pilot aired in March 2001.
   26. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:30 AM (#4348807)
The pilot aired in March 2001.
and it aired on fox.


also, wasn't it the empire state building?
   27. asdf1234 Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:03 AM (#4348812)
Nope.


Don't you dare interrupt your fasces-clinging betters while they're congratulating themselves on their expansive knowledge of guns. They're only trying to remind you of what a wonderful world we would have had firearms--all of which are fully automatic, as you well know--never been invented, much less had they never fallen into the hands of weirdos who believe outlandish things. Can you even fathom what the world might look like had guns never came to be? Why, with all those available job openings for serfs, we'd never have had to worry about high unemployment rates or soaring college tuition!

Talk about a progressive paradise.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:20 AM (#4348814)
Not sure why Span bothered to tweet this, but his statement doesn't actually take a clear position. With Clintonesque parsing, you could put him on any side of the issue, perhaps making him a good fit for Washington.
   29. Lassus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:02 AM (#4348836)
Whoops, wrong word
   30. TJ Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:02 AM (#4348837)
Sandy Hook "truthers? Now we know what many HOF voters do the other 11 months out of the year...

As for the government being behind 9-11, hoghwash. Using a plane to take down those towers was always a concern. In fact, Morgan Stanley's director of security, Rick Rescorla, and a friend of his (both highly decorated 'Nam vets), met and analyzed the threat risk to the towers following the underground garage bombing. Their conclusion was suicide attack by planes, which is why Rescorla instituted drills and proceedures which saved the lives of so many Morgan Stanley employees on Sept. 11. I highly recommend reading about Rick Rescorla- dude lived one fascinating life.
   31. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:25 AM (#4348839)
all of which are fully automatic
since people who aren't familiar with guns aren't familiar with this concept, i'd just like to mention that the reason select-fire exists in assault rifles is because the us government found out in vietnam that it is in fact much more deadly than fully automatic fire.

hard as that may be to believe, what they found out is that when rifles are fired in fully-automatic mode, the barrel of the rifle rises so quickly that any round fired after the first is woefully inaccurate (note, this is only true when you're holding the rifle without the support of a mount. when you mount an automatic weapon, it becomes more deadly by at least tenfold), and further, the holder of the weapon exhausts his ammunition much more quickly.



so, basically, because most legal assault rifles are semi-automatic instead of fully-auto, spree-shooters are both more accurate in their targeting and more capable of extending the terror their limited amount of ammunition can inflict.

   32. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:39 AM (#4348843)
The idea that we give folks like this and the Westboro folks free press and a chance to spread their idiocy makes us weaker and dumber as a nation. Just like with the gun issue, we are far too beholden to stuff written 250 years ago by guys who could never have imagined the world we live in.


No, just the opposite. There is no such thing as a great nation without free speech, and the founders imagined very clearly what kind of world we would be living in. Because, fundamentally, its exactly the same kind of world they were living in.
   33. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:47 AM (#4348847)
   34. AROM Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4348850)
The country is better for having skeptics, even those who are a bit unreasonable and cross the line into weird. It's much preferable to a country where people accept the official story with no questions asked. That would be a very gullible country. I wish the skeptics were more vocal when Bush was selling war on Iraq. Skeptics force the information providers to do more to prove what they are telling us. The Sandy Hook crew is crossing another line with their harassment of the guy who helped out the kids fleeing from the scene. I don't know if they are committing any crimes, but if they are found i'd like to see their addresses, names, and phone numbers published.
   35. Lassus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4348856)
I think calling the Sandy Hook truther people "skeptics" is giving them enough credit as to be rendered a completely inaccurate desciption of what they are doing. And I mean this without the harrassment you describe.
   36. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4348857)
The Sandy Hook crew is crossing another line with their harassment of the guy who helped out the kids fleeing from the scene.


Questioning any official story is vital (it should be the media's No. 1 job) but this kind of thing is just plain stupid.
   37. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4348894)
The Sandy Hook crew is crossing another line with their harassment of the guy who helped out the kids fleeing from the scene.


But he's the weak link! Can't keep his story straight for ten seconds! Exposing his lies will bring the whole house of cards crashing down!
   38. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4348900)
"The same government who gave us Amtrak, not to mention the Susan B. Anthony coin?"


So you think it's a coincidence that Susan B. Anthony upside down looks exactly like Jacques de Molay, last Master of the Templars?
   39. BDC Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4348901)
The country is better for having skeptics, even those who are a bit unreasonable and cross the line into weird. It's much preferable to a country where people accept the official story with no questions asked

Absolutely true. But I wonder if Trutherism in its many forms is really that sort of active skepticism that you and I would advocate. It seems to me more a non-skepticism. Anything occurs, anywhere, that could possibly be twisted into the plot of a conspiracy novel, and a Truther will pop up to so twist it. It doesn't seem to me that they ask any critical questions at all; they just assert a counter-dogma.

Official story: it snowed in Fort Worth on Tuesday. Truthers' "skeptical" questioning of the "official story": Obama wanted to keep me from my gun-rights meeting, so he seeded the clouds. And so it goes.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4348903)
Ridiculous can and should be dismissed out of hand. The idea that we give folks like this and the Westboro folks free press and a chance to spread their idiocy makes us weaker and dumber as a nation. Just like with the gun issue, we are far too beholden to stuff written 250 years ago by guys who could never have imagined the world we live in. The reverence for the founding fathers makes nearly any step towards smart and practical impossible.

AKA, everything I like should be mandatory, everything I don't like should be forbidden. Spoken like a good totalitarian.

"Elections and free speech are so impractical. The world would be so much better if they just let smart people like me make decisions."

No, just the opposite. There is no such thing as a great nation without free speech, and the founders imagined very clearly what kind of world we would be living in. Because, fundamentally, its exactly the same kind of world they were living in.

Exactly. At the end of the day I rather our country be poorer, less organized and less safe, than less free.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4348905)
I don't believe in any of the conspiracy ideas you cited (or in the BS JFK theories) but I'm well aware that our government (like any bureaucracy) is fairly incompetent and highly inefficient.

There are significant holes in the official versions of the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations. A jury has actually found that James Earl Ray did not kill MLK. Hell, King's family say Ray didn't do it.

Not saying the conspiracy theorists are right about grand Gov't wide plots. But, there's a lot of BS in the official versions.
   42. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4348907)
There's a big difference between skepticism, which is great, and moronic conspiracy theories, which can be dangerous. And, of course, everyone should be free to spout moronic conspiracy theories without fear of government action, but I think intelligent citizens have an obligation to call out moronic conspiracy theories as, well, moronic.
   43. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4348908)
On conspiracy theories


Conspiracy theorists and cult members and the like aren't unintelligent people in general, most have above-average intelligence. Like most wrong thinking, they are examples of reason attaching to an deep emotional reaction to incomprehensible events. That's why you want to run away from people who get locked into whatever pet theory they hold -- it's the same damned thing that makes a lot of bbtf discussion intolerable. Smart, socially maladjusted people with too much time on their hands often become cranks.

   44. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4348912)
"Elections and free speech are so impractical. The world would be so much better if they just let smart people like me make decisions."


Yours truly,

Barack Obama
   45. AROM Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4348914)
But he's the weak link! Can't keep his story straight for ten seconds! Exposing his lies will bring the whole house of cards crashing down!


Now that I've looked into it, I can see why people are questioning this "crisis actor". First he says he gave the kids toys to play with, specifically mentioning Daffy Duck. One truth seeker who broke into his house for an investigation reports through his twitter account that there is no Daffy Duck in that house, only a Donald. Nobody could accidently mistake Donald for Daffy. Therefore, everything is a lie.
   46. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4348915)
The idea that we give folks like this and the Westboro folks free press and a chance to spread their idiocy makes us weaker and dumber as a nation. Just like with the gun issue, we are far too beholden to stuff written 250 years ago by guys who could never have imagined the world we live in.


What makes us 'weaker' is a tremendous information overload swamping the human capacity to filter it. Throw out one devil and seven more rush in.
   47. DA Baracus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4348916)
Not sure there is a direct correlation. I don't believe in any of the conspiracy ideas you cited (or in the BS JFK theories) but I'm well aware that our government (like any bureaucracy) is fairly incompetent and highly inefficient.


It's a one way street. I'm not saying people who think the government is incompetent believe these theories. I'm saying that the people who believe these theories think that in all other aspects that the government is incompetent. But in faking the deaths of 20 kids? Oh they're ruthlessly efficient in that. Brilliant.
   48. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4348919)
There's a big difference between skepticism, which is great, and moronic conspiracy theories, which can be dangerous. And, of course, everyone should be free to spout moronic conspiracy theories without fear of government action, but I think intelligent citizens have an obligation to call out moronic conspiracy theories as, well, moronic.


"Red rover, red rover..."
   49. AROM Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4348920)
Not saying the conspiracy theorists are right about grand Gov't wide plots. But, there's a lot of BS in the official versions.


99.9% of the Kennedy conspiracy theories are absolutely wrong. Because there are so damn many of them and only one could possibly be right. And perhaps 100% of them are wrong, and Roy Harvey Oswalt actually did it, despite not having been born in 1963. He's tricksy like that.
   50. GregD Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4348925)
There's a big difference between skepticism, which is great, and moronic conspiracy theories, which can be dangerous. And, of course, everyone should be free to spout moronic conspiracy theories without fear of government action, but I think intelligent citizens have an obligation to call out moronic conspiracy theories as, well, moronic.
+1

On the assassination stuff, I put those in a separate category since 1) they have an obvious and predictable impact upon the nation and 2) people have always speculated about every assassination ever--Andrew Johnson was sure Jefferson Davis personally ordered Lincoln's killing and 3) public figures and their families might ethically deserve more sympathy and respect but aren't going to get it and knew that going into the job (or at least the figure himself.)

But this and the 9/11, that's just crapping on a bunch of regular people in the midst of unimaginable tragedy about an act whose consequences were sure to be serious but also essentially unpredictable. It's distasteful.
   51. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4348929)
It's a one way street. I'm not saying people who think the government is incompetent believe these theories. I'm saying that the people who believe these theories think that in all other aspects that the government is incompetent. But in faking the deaths of 20 kids? Oh they're ruthlessly efficient in that. Brilliant.


"The government" is too big of an abstraction, and mainly means bureaucrats. What people fantasize is a Delta strike team of some kind. The reality is that the CIA and Army are mostly bureaucratic. Especially the former.
   52. Ron J2 Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4348932)
i'd just like to mention that the reason select-fire exists in assault rifles is because the us government found out in vietnam that it is in fact much more deadly than fully automatic fire.


I recall reading that both Argentina and the Brits were armed with the FN-FAL in the Falkland. The difference being that the Argentine FNs could do full auto and the Brits couldn't.

The Brit version was far more effective in combat (the FAL was basically uncontrollable on full auto), but British soldiers liked to pick up the Argentine version.
   53. DA Baracus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4348938)
What people fantasize is a Delta strike team of some kind.


Yes they do. But in this case it's a bunch of "crisis actors" so it goes further (to me) than your normal black helicopter crowd.
   54. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4348939)
Speaking of conspiracy theories, this video is a bit cathartic.


"The government" is too big of an abstraction, and mainly means bureaucrats. What people fantasize is a Delta strike team of some kind. The reality is that the CIA and Army are mostly bureaucratic. Especially the former.


Yea, and we're talking about an agency that can't keep the affair of its director a secret. As far as Delta strike teams, the government can't even suppress the ability of strike team force members to blab their mouths and talk about covert affairs. So to think there any kind of grand conspiracy in the government can remain a secret for too long is pretty naive IMO.
   55. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4348945)
In addition to the great accuracy, I bet you could still empty a 30 round clip from a semi-auto AR-15 in 10 seconds. So full auto on an assault rifle is fairly pointless. Full auto is useful on a mounted machine gun with a ton of ammo, or, perhaps, a submachine gun at close range (spray and pray).
   56. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4348946)
I wish the skeptics were more vocal when Bush was selling war on Iraq.
We were. We were.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4348952)
In addition to the great accuracy, I bet you could still empty a 30 round clip from a semi-auto AR-15 in 10 seconds. So full auto on an assault rifle is fairly pointless.

The reason the military has 3-round burst capability on M-16/AR-15 based rifles is the .223 cal round is incapable of bringing down a grown man quickly (read Black Hawk Down). It has killing power, not stopping power (unless you get a brain or heart shot), and the "bad guy" has time to shoot back before he dies. They want to deliver a three round burst to neutralize the enemy more quickly.

I agree that in a full .30 cal battle rifle, semi-auto is all you ever need, unless you're facing human wave attacks.
   58. tshipman Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4348953)
I think people should really respect the Jim's wishes and not discuss political matters outside of the OT-P thread.

There's also no real reason for this article to be posted, given those guidelines.
   59. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4348954)
A jury has actually found that James Earl Ray did not kill MLK. Hell, King's family say Ray didn't do it.


What jury? The fake trial they put on TV? Come on...

Who cares what King's family thinks? I'm sure you can find some family member of a 9/11 victim who thinks aliens were involved.
   60. Swoboda is freedom Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4348956)
i'd just like to mention that the reason select-fire exists in assault rifles is because the us government found out in vietnam that it is in fact much more deadly than fully automatic fire.

Mostly cause you run out of ammo real quick. Clip holds 20 rounds, 3 seconds later, you have to reload. You have to carry the ammo too.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4348966)
What jury? The fake trial they put on TV? Come on...

No. A wrongful death suit by the King family against Loyd Jowers (who admitted involment in the assassination). Heard by a Tennessee jury in 1999.
   62. just plain joe Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4348967)
The Brit version was far more effective in combat (the FAL was basically uncontrollable on full auto), but British soldiers liked to pick up the Argentine version.


Well also the British army was/is made up of professionals who volunteered to be there while they Argentine army largely consisted of teenage conscripts who were poorly trained, poorly led and, likely, wanted to be anywhere but in the Falklands. That's not to say that firing a rifle on full automatic doesn't waste ammunition. The M-16's we had in the National Guard back in the 1980's would fire full auto, and they were nearly impossible to hold on target in that mode. Fully automatic does have its uses; sometimes you need to spray an area with fire just to see what happens, and sometimes you just want the enemy to keep his head down while you manuever or whatever.
   63. formerly dp Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4348974)
I wish the skeptics were more vocal when Bush was selling war on Iraq.

We were. We were.


There was a staggering amount of dissent in the US and abroad both during the build-up to the war and after it started-- it was well-organized, broadly-based, and non-violent. It was also, unfortunately, largely ignored, at least in the US mainstream press. Wikipedia's summary is nicely organized.
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4348995)
I wonder if Trutherism in its many forms is really that sort of active skepticism that you and I would advocate. It seems to me more a non-skepticism. Anything occurs, anywhere, that could possibly be twisted into the plot of a conspiracy novel, and a Truther will pop up to so twist it. It doesn't seem to me that they ask any critical questions at all; they just assert a counter-dogma.

Official story: it snowed in Fort Worth on Tuesday. Truthers' "skeptical" questioning of the "official story": Obama wanted to keep me from my gun-rights meeting, so he seeded the clouds. And so it goes.


You can usually identify the true basket cases by the sheer number of crazy theories that they spout. I wonder what percentage of the "Truthers" believe all of the following "truths". It wouldn't surprise me if at least 10% to 15% of the country did.

---Obama wasn't born in the United States

---Obama stole the election

---The pre-election polls were rigged in favor of Obama, even though it turned out they underrated his support

---9/11 was either a hoax or it was planned by the Jews or by Bush

---Kennedy was killed by the CIA or some other conspiracy

---King wasn't killed by James Earl Ray

---Sandy Hook is a hoax

---We never really landed on the moon
   65. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4348998)
I felt like I was taking crazy pills in 2002-2003. "Hello? Are we really going to do this? This seems like a horrible idea." And it's not like I had some special insight or wisdom. But even some pretty liberal friends of mine were convinced, in part, I'm sure, because there was so little dissent aired in the mainstream media.
   66. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4349002)
The Lincoln Assassination was by definition a conspiracy because of the amount of people involved. I remember a crappy movie in the 70's that tried to state that members in Lincoln own cabinet were involved in having Booth kidnap Lincoln or some nonsense like that.
   67. base ball chick Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4349007)
help me out here

i'm all confused about the sandy hook truther thingy

1 - is it that the old guy killed all the kids and then lied that there were any kids at his house?

2 - obama had all the kids murdered so as he could take guns away from White People so as all the ghetto gangs could murder them without worrying the obama could become Dictator For Life?

3 - the kids are not dead but are all secretly living in they mama basement/area 51 and the funerals are fake and won't nobody tell the truth including their brothers and sisters, knowing that little kids NEVAH blab or "forget" to keep the secret?
   68. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4349018)
is there any way to watch "the lone gunmen" on streaming video? i do not think i've seen it on hulu or netflix or amazon, so i am beginning to believe that the existence of "the lone gunmen" is itself a conspiracy.


Netflix has the series on disc.

Or maybe you've got a fake Netflix account, which would make you an unwitting victim of yet another grand conspiracy. I just hate it when that happens.

(I of course own it on DVD-Rs that I paid good money for before the legit DVDs came out, because that's what I do. See also: American Gothic, Laredo, Adventures of Briscoe County Jr., Beverly Hillbillies, Invaders, etc. etc. etc.)


   69. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4349023)
I have a pair of people I'm close to that all of a sudden have started believing in all sorts of conspiracy theories. It really stresses me out. They aren't stupid people. I feel like both aren't entirely happy in a lot of ways, and maybe that has led them to look for the most miserable things possible to attach themselves to.
   70. DA Baracus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4349030)
1 - is it that the old guy killed all the kids and then lied that there were any kids at his house?


It's that the old guy is just an actor and nothing that he says happened actually happened. This can be proven by him saying he is 62 and that there is someone else with his name who is 69.
   71. GregD Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4349035)
The section "Grieving Families or Oscar Caliber Actors" in the Truthers video has to be the tops.
   72. The Good Face Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4349039)
The reason the military has 3-round burst capability on M-16/AR-15 based rifles is the .223 cal round is incapable of bringing down a grown man quickly (read Black Hawk Down). It has killing power, not stopping power (unless you get a brain or heart shot), and the "bad guy" has time to shoot back before he dies. They want to deliver a three round burst to neutralize the enemy more quickly.


Argh, this is one of my pet peeves. "Stopping power" is a misnomer when it comes to small arms. No small arms generate enough energy to reliably "stop" another human being from a physics perspective; a gun that packed enough punch to physically knock down a human would have enough recoil to knock down the shooter as well.

Firearms can incapacitate a human in a number of ways; shock, pain, broken bones, but the ONLY reliable way to "stop" another human is to disable the central nervous system. This means the brain or spinal column. Even if somebody's heart is destroyed by a high powered rifle round, they may well retain consciousness for 10 seconds or so, enough time to shoot back.

Firearms generally KILL through exsanguination; bullet makes hole, air goes in, blood comes out, pressure drops, brain dies. This can happen really fast if you hit the heart or a major artery or really slow if you don't hit anything too important. Different cartridges deliver varying levels of energy, and some are more destructive to the human body than others, but they all play by the same rules; if you don't hit the CNS, there are NO guarantees of dropping your target immediately, regardless of how big and manly your cartridge is.

The US military uses the 5.56mm/.223 round because it's light and has accurate, flat-shooting ballistics. The cartridge has low recoil, which makes it easier to train soldiers how to shoot and permits the use of lightweight rifles; the low weight of the cartridges allows soldiers to carry more ammunition. For most situations, it's a very good cartridge.
   73. zonk Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4349057)
I have a pair of people I'm close to that all of a sudden have started believing in all sorts of conspiracy theories. It really stresses me out. They aren't stupid people. I feel like both aren't entirely happy in a lot of ways, and maybe that has led them to look for the most miserable things possible to attach themselves to.


This.

We seem to have sort of landed in a time of great anxiety -- and there are plenty of carnival barkers, some of them sincere in sharing this uber-anxiety that becomes paranoid delusional thinking; others most definitely seeing the opportunity to make a buck/get elected/push an agenda. It's not unique -- the undertow of such delusions has always existed, but certain events and situations sometimes seem to bring it to a froth.

Personally, my solution would be a giant ball-kicking robot that would specifically target the opportunists. It's the opportunists that become gateway drugs into the truly troubled, raising their profile, letting them get their foot into the door of legitimacy, etc.

I'd have to think about whether my touchy-feely liberal tendencies would make exceptions for say, someone like Glenn Beck, who I think truly believes/suffers from those paranoid delusions with the crass opportunism more of a byproduct... OK, done thinking - yeah, I'd turn my ball-kicking robot loose on him, but I'd see to it that he got treatment, too.

   74. Arva Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4349058)
RE: 34, "Truthers" and the like aren't skeptics. They believe hard in their conspiracy theories. Very few consipiracy theorists will accept any evidence that contradicts their beliefs, no matter how massive or convincing. They are the very opposite of skeptics. Otherwise, I agree that skeptics are a good thing.
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4349063)
Argh, this is one of my pet peeves. "Stopping power" is a misnomer when it comes to small arms. No small arms generate enough energy to reliably "stop" another human being from a physics perspective; a gun that packed enough punch to physically knock down a human would have enough recoil to knock down the shooter as well.

Firearms can incapacitate a human in a number of ways; shock, pain, broken bones, but the ONLY reliable way to "stop" another human is to disable the central nervous system. This means the brain or spinal column. Even if somebody's heart is destroyed by a high powered rifle round, they may well retain consciousness for 10 seconds or so, enough time to shoot back.


Correct, it's a term of art for near immediate incapication. A full .30 cal round ('30-'06, .308 winchester, 8mm Mauser, .303, etc.) generally produces sufficient shock to disable a person very quickly. A .223 does not.

A .308 round with a 180 gr bullet at 2600 ft. per. sec., generates 2900 ft. lbs. of energy. A .223 with a 55 gr bullet at 3200 ft per sec, generates 1280 ft. lbs. of energy. It's a huge difference.
   76. zonk Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4349065)
RE: 34, "Truthers" and the like aren't skeptics. They believe hard in their conspiracy theories. Very few consipiracy theorists will accept any evidence that contradicts their beliefs, no matter how massive or convincing. They are the very opposite of skeptics. Otherwise, I agree that skeptics are a good thing.


Indeed - in fact, evidence in rebuttal generally gets turned on its head and becomes fodder/further evidence OF the conspiracy... i.e., cue the church lady "isn't that convvveeeeeniiientt..."
   77. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4349066)
We seem to have sort of landed in a time of great anxiety

Exactly. A large portion of the American society is seeing their economic status deteriorate. At the same time, family ties are disintegrating among the non-affluent (>40% of children born to single mothers) so there is less of a support network to compensate. And the elites of both parties don't give a damn.

No #### they're anxious. They have a right to be.
   78. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4349068)
There was a staggering amount of dissent in the US and abroad both during the build-up to the war and after it started-- it was well-organized, broadly-based, and non-violent.

Well, two out of three ain't bad. The "base" of the anti-war crowd was, and is, about as "broad" as Elvis Costello's tie on the cover of the "Taking Liberties" album. (I was going to say "This Year's Model", but his tie is hidden behind the camera on that album cover, which ruins the joke.)

Actually, there were quite a few people against the war, but they were almost all on the Left, which led to the perception that they were simply anti-Bush (which many of them were, of course). The media's portrayal of anti-war people as the usual Dirty Effing Hippies types didn't help their image, either. Most wars are, in the main, popular -- and the media loves them some eyeballs.

Of course, if you want the real truth about the moon landings, look no further than right here.
   79. zonk Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4349088)
Exactly. A large portion of the American society is seeing their economic status deteriorate. At the same time, family ties are disintegrating among the non-affluent (>40% of children born to single mothers) so there is less of a support network to compensate. And the elites of both parties don't give a damn.

No #### they're anxious. They have a right to be.


I'm not denying anyone that anxiety -- indeed, not being particularly elite (or at least affluent and/or 'connected'), I share plenty of it.

However, there's a line between some rational discourse, compromise, etc around what to do about it -- i.e., from trade protectionism to minimum wage hikes to socialization of services to lowering the power of 'corrupt unions' to lowering taxes to whatever (trying to frame it in an ideologically agnostic way here) -- and foisting that anxiety onto secret cabals, government plots, etc.

We're either human beings, with free will, logic, rational thinking, etc at our disposal to address those points of anxiety (and yes, sorry to say, collectively) -- or -- we're a herd of unthinking animals that stampede when we get twitchy and the thunder claps.

I feel for the folks that let that anxiety become paranoia, I really do -- but for the opportunists who prey on it, well... nothing solves such problems like a finely tuned ball-kicking robot.
   80. Ron J2 Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4349090)
#74 I recall watching a show on the Oklahoma City bombings. A prominent "truther" insisted that the bomb as described couldn't have done the damage it did.

Show did a full scale recreation and the "skeptic" was proven wrong. Not that this changed his mind of course.
   81. The Good Face Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4349098)
Correct, it's a term of art for near immediate incapication. A full .30 cal round ('30-'06, .308 winchester, 8mm Mauser, .303, etc.) generally produces sufficient shock to disable a person very quickly. A .223 does not.


This is simply not true. Some men will immediately go into shock after a minor wound from a low powered cartridge. Others will absorb multiple fatal wounds from high powered rifles and keep right on fighting until they bleed out. And there's no way of telling who's who until it actually happens. When the latter happens to an American soldier, we give him the Medal of Honor. When it happens to somebody American soldiers are shooting at, we grumble about stopping power. You could fill books with tales from WW II alone about men who heroically fought on after multiple wounds from full .30cal rifles.

A .308 round with a 180 gr bullet at 2600 ft. per. sec., generates 2900 ft. lbs. of energy. A .223 with a 55 gr bullet at 3200 ft per sec, generates 1280 ft. lbs. of energy. It's a huge difference.


That's true, but it's not a material difference, especially considering the drawbacks of using .308. Heavier rifles, less ammunition, harder to train soldiers, less accurate fire, less suppressive fire and more expensive ammunition. I haven't seen any evidence that a .308 is any more likely to induce shock than a .223. But there's plenty of evidence that they'll both kill men very, very dead.
   82. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4349106)
That's true, but it's not a material difference, especially considering the drawbacks of using .308. Heavier rifles, less ammunition, harder to train soldiers, less accurate fire, less suppressive fire and more expensive ammunition. I haven't seen any evidence that a .308 is any more likely to induce shock than a .223. But there's plenty of evidence that they'll both kill men very, very dead.

Did you read Black Hawk Down? There's a reason the Delta Force, and all the other SF gravitate to M-14s and variants, and those weapons have made a major comeback in the wars of the last decade. Both kill, but full calibre rifles disable faster. That's why they hunt deer with .30 cal.

You're right about heavier rifles and ammo (thought this is severely mitigated by the fact that most US infantry is motorized or mechanized), but you are dead wrong about accuracy. An M-14/M-1A1 is more accurate to far longer distances than an M-16.
   83. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4349109)
I'm not denying anyone that anxiety -- indeed, not being particularly elite (or at least affluent and/or 'connected'), I share plenty of it.

However, there's a line between some rational discourse, compromise, etc around what to do about it -- i.e., from trade protectionism to minimum wage hikes to socialization of services to lowering the power of 'corrupt unions' to lowering taxes to whatever (trying to frame it in an ideologically agnostic way here) -- and foisting that anxiety onto secret cabals, government plots, etc.

We're either human beings, with free will, logic, rational thinking, etc at our disposal to address those points of anxiety (and yes, sorry to say, collectively) -- or -- we're a herd of unthinking animals that stampede when we get twitchy and the thunder claps.

I feel for the folks that let that anxiety become paranoia, I really do -- but for the opportunists who prey on it, well... nothing solves such problems like a finely tuned ball-kicking robot.


I agree with all of that. I'm just saying we shouldn't be surprised when marginalized, non-intellectual people follow the pied-pipers rather than engaging in policy discourse.
   84. zonk Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4349116)
I agree with all of that. I'm just saying we shouldn't be surprised when marginalized, non-intellectual people follow the pied-pipers rather than engaging in policy discourse.


Then we agree...

I'll provide a link shortly to my crowd-sourced funding project for the robot ;-)
   85. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4349122)
I'll provide a link shortly to my crowd-sourced funding project for the robot ;-)


I think KICKSTARTER would be perfect for such a project!

=)
   86. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:25 PM (#4349132)
RE: 34, "Truthers" and the like aren't skeptics. They believe hard in their conspiracy theories. Very few consipiracy theorists will accept any evidence that contradicts their beliefs, no matter how massive or convincing. They are the very opposite of skeptics. Otherwise, I agree that skeptics are a good thing.


The problem with the 'nuts' approach is that it just furthers an 'us vs. them' mentality. I've given some credence to any number of conspiracy theories, mainly because wild goose chases are kind of fun. But in almost all instances, I have ultimately been swayed by sound rational argument and my experience of people in their fallible complexity. For example, I was on board the Mumia train for awhile becaue he fit the profile for any number of leftist hobby horses, COINTELPRO, racism, corrupt police/court system, etc. But once exposed to the facts of the case and the court record, it's clear that Mumia shot and killed Falkner with premeditation.

9/11 was a biggie because it was so shocking a revelation of the realities of US vulnerabilities that made it preferable to believe in an all-powerful state apparatus than the alternative. The facts are pretty devastating not only to the conspiracy theory but to all kinds of illusions about US power. You fould say 9/11 opened pandoras box for CTs -- they are incredibly mainstream now.

As for Kennedy, a lot of different groups of people wanted him dead. The irony is that he was likely taken out by one nut. Adding fuel to the fire is Oswald's suspicious background and his contradictory positions and actions. Better than any conspiracy theories are DeLillo's and Ellroy's takes on it. There was an explosion of sociological/psychological factors in the 60's, the fallout from which we still experience.

Finally, there are the most banal CTs that I give some credence still, like the 2004 Ohio election results. Also, I don't like to think of conspirators bringing down small planes, but it seems incredibly easy to do. But not as easy as operator error.
   87. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4349138)
I agree with all of that. I'm just saying we shouldn't be surprised when marginalized, non-intellectual people follow the pied-pipers rather than engaging in policy discourse.


The poblem is CTs have gone mainstream and are believed and propagated by not unintelligent people. Those educated and informed people opened the gate for the youtubers and less intellectually gifted compatriots downstream. You'd probably be shocked at how many of your friends and associates buy into at least one of the going CTs.

It's going to get worse.
   88. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4349144)
Chemtrails. That is all.
   89. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4349145)
Exactly. A large portion of the American society is seeing their economic status deteriorate. At the same time, family ties are disintegrating among the non-affluent (>40% of children born to single mothers) so there is less of a support network to compensate. And the elites of both parties don't give a damn.

No #### they're anxious. They have a right to be.


It's interezting when I find myself in agreement with snapper. There's a basic social disintegration at hand that liberal rational discourse is powerless to stop. Over this century I expect us to devolve back into a neo-tribal society. No matter the handwringing, it's inevitable. Best to get out in front of it.
   90. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4349146)
But there's plenty of evidence that they'll both kill men very, very dead.


So all dead, not mostly dead?
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4349152)
The poblem is CTs have gone mainstream and are believed and propagated by not unintelligent people. Those educated and informed people opened the gate for the youtubers and less intellectually gifted compatriots downstream. You'd probably be shocked at how many of your friends and associates buy into at least one of the going CTs.

Well frankly, odds are at least a few of the conspiracy theories are true. I think it's virtually impossible that the truthers or birthers or Newtown truthers are correct, but would it really surprise you if we find out that Oswald or Sirhan Sirhan or James Earl Ray didn't act alone?

A conspiracy doesn't have to mean the whole gov't knew. Just more than one person working together.
   92. Arva Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4349153)
RE 86: I think that the true diehard conspiracy theorists, like the ones who harrass people in Sandy Hook, are very likely clinically insane. Most of them need real professional help. They are completely unable to accept any reality but the one they create. Not all conspiracy theorists fall into that category. Some just don't want to accept things they don't like, which makes them not so different from most people. I just don't think that "skeptic" is the right term for them and delusional is too strong for the run of the mill conspiracy theorists.

   93. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4349154)
   94. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4349157)
but would it really surprise you if we find out that Oswald or Sirhan Sirhan or James Earl Ray didn't act alone?


It would surprise me to find out that the secret of the conspiracy was kept for 30+ years, and there isn't any real tangible evidence that was discovered before then.
(And I don't mean confessions by people who can provide zero proof.)
   95. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4349158)
Exactly. A large portion of the American society is seeing their economic status deteriorate. At the same time, family ties are disintegrating among the non-affluent (>40% of children born to single mothers) so there is less of a support network to compensate. And the elites of both parties don't give a damn.

No #### they're anxious. They have a right to be.


It's interezting when I find myself in agreement with snapper. There's a basic social disintegration at hand that liberal rational discourse is powerless to stop. Over this century I expect us to devolve back into a neo-tribal society. No matter the handwringing, it's inevitable. Best to get out in front of it.


Incidentally this is in a nutshell my explanation for why post-apocalyptic (and in particular, post-zombie-apocalyptic) discourse is enjoying such a surge in popularity currently.
   96. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4349161)
Some just don't want to accept things they don't like, which makes them not so different from most people.


I think this is the basis for both sides of the "steroid use in baseball" arguments.
I know there are some arguments/points/sides I cling to not because I believe them entirely, but because I'm worried about wanting to NOT believe them (and how that affects my view of things).
   97. PerroX Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4349162)
Well frankly, odds are at least a few of the conspiracy theories are true. I think it's virtually impossible that the truthers or birthers or Newtown truthers are correct, but would it really surprise you if we find out that Oswald or Sirhan Sirhan or James Earl Ray didn't act alone?


A lot of groups of people wanted the Kennedys and King neutralized. If I wanted to delve into this stuff again, I might read Peter Dale Scott on deep politics, but more likely go back to the aforementioned Libra and Cold Six Thousand and be entertained in the process.
   98. Squash Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4349167)
I knew a guy in my first job out of college who believed that the US government manufactured in the AIDS virus to kill all the gays and black people. I think a lot of these stem from fear in general, that there's someone out to get you, the world is often cruel and sometimes seems random, and they want to impose order on the system by telling themselves it was all planned and therefore under control. They tend to all fall apart under scrutiny though. In the AIDS case, that would mean the US government was proficient enough in biotech in the 60s/70s/80s to literally build an entirely new supervirus, which strains credibility.

And I'll add to the chorus that this Sandy Hook example isn't really skepticism - it's politics. Sandy Hook is just the framework it's being held up on.
   99. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4349170)
It would surprise me to find out that the secret of the conspiracy was kept for 30+ years, and there isn't any real tangible evidence that was discovered before then.
(And I don't mean confessions by people who can provide zero proof.)


How long was the codebreaking secret of Enigma/Magic kept? Well into the '70s IIRC. And that involved thousands of people, and wasn't something that would hurt the "conspirators" if revealed.
   100. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4349175)
It was also, unfortunately, largely ignored, at least in the US mainstream press.


because there was so little dissent aired in the mainstream media.


What? I get browbeaten any time I've mentioned the MSM doesn't do its job. But I guess the result in this case was only about 500,000 people dead and a couple trillion dollars, so the fact that they didn't do their job can be overlooked.
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