Conspiracy theories, fear and power.

Shortwest Rick dropped off a movie I hadn’t seen, or even heard about: “Loose Change.” It’s a conspiracy theory film, laying the blame of 9/11 on Rumsfeld and Cheney. Be it fact or fiction, there are people who will believe almost anything they hear these days (hence the Hannity, Limbaugh, Faux News, etc). Reason no longer applies.

If enough people say it’s true, it must be. The “Flat tax” isn’t regressive, the free market regulates itself, Iraq was going to nuke us (and none of these are the point for discussion- please). The issue is that the intellectual maturity of most Americans barely makes it past Junior High and their reasoning skills may be below that. What passes for political speech is an embarrassment. What passes for debate isn’t much more than group think. It’s hard to question anything- without a herd of people behind you.

Our country is suffering because of this. For the most powerful county in the world to live in constant fear, to be distracted by political stagecraft, to ignore that we’re an empire yet displaying many of the traits of a third world country- the whole thing is almost a cruel joke.

The Arch Druid sums it up nicely:

The last two decades, in fact, have seen the rise of what might best be called a pornography of political fear in America’s collective discourse. Like other forms of pornography, it flattens the rich complexity of human interaction into a one-dimensional world in which abstract shapes and motions stimulate unthinking reactions from the brainstem levels of its viewers. It thus debases what it claims to describe, even as it pursues whatever raw sensation it evokes further and further away from any human reality. The payoff of the pornography of political fear is different from the one experienced by those who have their hands down inside some less metaphorical pair of shorts, but it is every bit as reflexive, and its results can be just as messy.

via The Archdruid Report: Search results for conspiracy theory.

While the JFK assassination, the Trilateral Commission and even 9/11 may have a secret true underbelly- the real issue is how do we separate truth from fiction anymore? A fifth grader told me she couldn’t use Wikipedia as a source because “anyone can change it” (never mind that anyone can change it back as well), and we’ve got people in Texas deciding what goes in our textbooks based on their own views of the world- and never mind Faux news.

The Internet can be the greatest repository of truth or fiction- and it’s ability to spread both at lightening speed can be just as deadly to either.

We’re aware that people may see the Dayton Grassroots Daily Show as the rantings of two conspiracy theorists. Are we privy to the secret workings of the elite power brokers of Dayton- or is it all conjecture? We believe we speak the truth- and time will tell. It’ll all be here for future generations to read and review. We value the contributions by people like Jeff of Daytonology fame- who has done so much research on the history of Dayton and it’s cultural and economic shifts over time. Joshua Stults has also pulled some pretty interesting facts out and explained things well. There are countless others who’ve given me anonymous tips on where to look and what to ask for. Sometimes, I’ve just blindly stumbled into stories as well. Thankfully we have things like the FEC database with it’s donor lists- and real estate tax records online.

We try to encourage debate and the asking of the questions others wish we wouldn’t. We’re trying to do what the “fourth estate” was supposed to do- keep the rest of us in check and the politicians honest.

This is not an easy task. It certainly doesn’t help my business or bring me or Greg fame and fortune. But, hopefully we’re going to help provide a platform for all of you to add your 2 cents- and raise the level of discussion. We want to give you tools to share these ideas with others- and we’ll do it out in the open, because we believe that when people discuss and debate, it improves the caliber of the discussion. Thanks for reading. Pass this on. And, don’t stop asking questions.

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7 Responses

  1. Will Brooks March 13, 2010 / 11:05 pm
    I always thought Greg was with the Illuminati….lol…j/k Greg.
  2. Ice Bandit March 14, 2010 / 11:14 am
    The issue is that the intellectual maturity of most Americans barely makes it past Junior High and their reasoning skills may be below that. (David Esrati)
    Well David, as the Old Bandito wipes away these tears of shame, methinks I speak for all Americans when we express our chagrin at not meeting your stellar expectations. Furthermore, it will be the Old Bandito’s lifelong pursuit to ensure that American intellectual maturity is raised to the standard that will henceforth be known as the “Esrati Threshold.” Now there are some who will argue, foolishly perhaps, that America has prospered because of these very same people you mock and ridicule. These believers in the theory of American Exceptionalism argue that the millions of decent, honest Americans who go to work, pay their taxes, raise their kids, start new companies and avoid incarceration are the real reason for this country’s greatness. And this prosperity and inclination towards invention and innovation are done in spite of, rather than because of, a government and tax system that has become increasingly hostile towards them. Quite frankly, David, your candor is a bit surprising;  back in the day hopeful politicos waxed rhapshodic about the goodness and righteousness of the American people. And the left, especially, felt a kinship for those who wore the label of “working class heroes.” But the Old Bandito knows now we were just too stupid to know how stupid we really were……
  3. David Esrati March 14, 2010 / 12:49 pm

    @ice bandit- it’s been working real well for most of us lately- 10%+ unemployment, no health care, pensions disappearing, criminals in congress, undeclared wars, the foreclosure crisis, the debt to China-

    We’ve believed a chicken in every pot- and Oswald shot Kennedy by himself- and the fairy tale that we can afford it all- while making nothing.

    It’s nice of you to throw the label of elitist around- while the true elite are laughing all the way to the bank.

  4. Jesse March 14, 2010 / 2:07 pm
    :)  I will not take the bait.  But I will point out that the cost of a hot dog is “regressive” and I haven’t any heard.
     
    Debate is stifled in this country because of the inability of people to reason.  Too bad we can’t have an education system that forces people to attend school from the time they are 4 to 18 or so.  That way be could make sure that people are intelligent and able to reason and debate.
     
    The ability to speak about things that are false should also be regulated.  Nobody should be able to say things that contradict “truth”.  Good thing Cass Sunstein is in a position of power.  Boy would it be bad if people said things that contradict the government’s official position.
     
     
  5. Jeff of Louisville March 14, 2010 / 4:55 pm
    Thankfully we have things like the FEC database with it’s donor lists- and real estate tax records online.
     
     
    The FEC database was a lot of fun to work with when I was digging for who supported Turner.  The state has a good one now, too, for state offices.
  6. JoeSixPalin12 (not jstults) March 14, 2010 / 6:51 pm
    El Bandito:

    …ensure that American intellectual maturity is raised to the standard that will henceforth be known as the “Esrati Threshold.”

    How will we know when the threshold’s been breached?
    David:

    …10%+ unemployment, no health care, pensions disappearing, criminals in congress, undeclared wars, the foreclosure crisis, the debt to China…

    That’s from a Billy Joel song right?

  7. Greg Hunter March 18, 2010 / 8:48 am
    Here is a nice cartoon that covers education and conspiracy in America and one wonders why the USA is on the express to 3rd world status.

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