Sometimes the Only Alternative to “Conspiracy Theory” Is Lobotomy

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I believe I have found an appropriate synonym for the unwieldy phrase, “engaging in conspiracy theory”. Let’s just call it “thinking”.

Say that a young man’s date for Friday night cancels on Friday afternoon, pleading that an intense migraine has overtaken her. Disconsolate, he wanders into the local watering hole later that evening… where he spies his girlfriend absorbing cocktails and laughing in brave defiance of the famous headache as a tall, dapper stranger whispers in her ear. Our young man thinks… what? That he’s been misled? That he’s been played? Why, he deserves to be jilted if that’s what he’s made of! Conspiracy theorist!

Your high-school-senior son says he’ll be out late on Saturday night—not to wait up, that he and his friends have formed a study group to ace all of next week’s final exams. You take him at his word and go to bed. The next morning, you find his book bag just where he left it upon returning from classes Friday afternoon. Out in the garage, you discover his hand-me-down car wedged in at a very odd angle and notice empty beer cans knocking around in the back seat. And you conclude… what? That he didn’t spend the night studying? I hope they come arrest you, you… you conspiracy theorist!

John Stossel dared to point out last Wednesday that our 23 trillion debt hasn’t faded away, despite what appears to be a rip-roaring economy.  Indeed, the debt continues to mushroom, and Mr. Stossel notes that a day of reckoning must come. These facts can hardly come as a dazzling revelation to elected representatives of either party, yet neither Democrats nor Republicans have the stomach to carve a dime from our entitlement programs. That’s by no means shocking, and the major fault for their paralysis lies with us. Every politico on either side of the aisle knows that fiscal responsibility is the kiss of death, so both wait for the other side to make the fatal move in a game of “chicken”….

Or so one might have said fifteen years ago, when the looming catastrophe was already fully visible. These days, however, Democrats are not simply waiting for Republicans to cave in and show an understanding of elementary arithmetic. No: every Democratic candidate for president is trying to outbid the others in exorbitant offers of “free stuff”—free health care, free college, free annual income. Free citizenship, even—a free right to vote on how much of other people’s money you want to pocket, freedom from prosecution when you break the nation’s laws, freedom to vote (once again) when you’re clumsy enough to get yourself sent away to prison for lawbreaking too spectacular to be ignored.

And… and is there no endgame here, beyond getting elected? Is that what we are to think—that every single Democrat in office or seeking office nowadays is so incredibly stupid as not to understand that we have no cash for such palaces of fantasy? Some, to be sure, are stunningly challenged by basic addition (especially those with economics degrees from Ivy League institutions). But all of them?

Well, yes, that’s precisely what we are to think, what we must think… unless we wish to descend into the vile, malodorous realm of conspiracy theory!

We must assume, furthermore, that no Democrat has a plan for what to do when Social Security and Medicare checks dry up, when rioting breaks out in the streets, when the nation from coast to coast begins to look like San Francisco. For if such a plan exists, counting on a crisis which must not “go to waste”… wouldn’t that be a conspiracy?

Bestowing the right to vote upon felons and foreign nationals begins to look like a plan of some particularly dark design, especially when you factor in the Democratic Party’s zeal for denying legal citizens their Second Amendment rights. Is this merely a matter of adding the criminal vote (and the child vote, if Pelosi had her druthers) to the dead vote in order to ensure permanent Democrat hegemony… or is massive civil unrest being courted to justify calling out the National Guard, transforming it into the National Police Force dreamt of by Barack Obama, suspending elections, and settling into a true socialist oligarchy in the grand old Soviet or Maoist style? The whole thing begins to look like… but, nah! Pull yourself up short and take several steps back! You know where that kind of thinking leads!

Now, Republicans don’t open the border to terrorists while taking defensive weapons at gunpoint from legal citizens. They don’t invite Israelis to vacation by the thousand in Chicago during the first week of November and bestow upon them the right to vote as pro tempore residents. They actually resign if caught having sex with the cleaning lady’s underaged daughter, and they hold the Constitution in highest regard… except that, you know, the President is the Commander in Chief, and waging war in that capacity is sometimes a bit hampered by the need of a formal declaration from the Senate. It’s important to whisk around this small planet like Superman and stay the raised hand of the evil-doer… so important that parliamentary procedure sometimes gets trimmed at the edges. Islamo-fascism has to be nipped in the bud wherever its dark flower breaks the surface; the Religion of Peace has to be given a chance to nourish new democracies and marketplaces.

Although… one would think that, with such a keen interest in defense, the Republicans would address themselves to seeking an alliance with Putin’s Russia instead of driving her closer and closer into the embrace of Red China, the one nation on earth aggressively, openly gobbling up its neighbors or commandeering their resources while conducting campaigns of ethnic cleansing and instituting Orwellian monitoring of ordinary people. One would think that continuing to feed Wall Street by allowing the PRC to take over vast portions of our industrial sector and purloin all of our intellectual property of value would stir Republican indignation.

One would think, most especially, that Republicans would have been clamoring to have the national power grid secured against electro-magnetic pulse attack and solar flares during the Ryan/Boehner years of enjoying substantial power in Congress. After all, if ninety percent of the North American populace would die in the wake of a catastrophic nation-wide power outage, if this has been understood since the late twentieth century, if the cost of hardening the grid is relatively minuscule, and if Republicans are such valiant hawks in the matter of providing our military with tanks (as opposed, say, to modernizing the nuclear arsenal)… well… well, what?

One of my Republican senators responded last week to my letter expressing concern about the unsecured grid with an assurance (and I’ve no doubt that this was an auto-responder’s assurance) that he cared about “climate change” and, to that end, was doing his all to advance the construction of a nuclear power plant. Fine. Thanks for listening.

Perhaps we witness here a mere greasing of conventional pockets in the energy sector, just as we see in Democrats a mere pandering to the “what’s in it for me?” crowd with endless offers of free stuff from other people’s closets. Perhaps there really is nothing to see here, on either side. One doesn’t like to be a… you know: a conspiracy theorist!

But as I mused at the end of my just-published essays collected over a period fifteen years, Nightmare Made of Dreams: A Conservative Scholar Assesses Our Nation’s Declining Taste for Self-Sufficiency, there’s something really odd going on under our noses. The phenomenon now popularly known as the Phoenix Lights occurred over twenty years ago. It was seen by thousands (including Governor Fife Symington of Arizona) and photographed or videoed by dozens, perhaps hundreds. Strange craft were silently executing maneuvers over a major southwestern metropolitan area that any Physics or Engineering professor at any public university would denounce as patently impossible. Somebody did that… and somebody in our government knows who the somebody was. I have a feeling—not an articulated theory, just a feeling—that our off-budget defense programs are vastly more advanced than most of us believe (whether or not the craft over Phoenix were built at Area 51 or on Alpha Centauri b). That hunch consoles me. It would be nice if our defenses were indeed much more sophisticated than they appear to the casual eye. I can also muster little outrage at the utterly covert nature of such projects (though why one of them went overt on March 13, 1997, is a puzzler). If you reckon for a moment how leaky our “security” agencies have been around the Trump Administration, and if you then consider the premier importance of projects like these, you’d want another blanket of secrecy thrown over them rather than more sunlight penetrating to them.

Yet there remains that deadly sunlight—those solar flares against which our grid is not secure. How can a nation whose elite engineers have refined the ability to defy gravity not have built Faraday cages around its power generators? That’s like asking how a nuclear submarine cannot have a protocol to see that someone shuts the hatch before a dive.

What’s the game? As a citizen, I say to my representatives, “I don’t want to know all your secrets. I shouldn’t know them… because if such a one as I knows them, then the Chinese surely will. I don’t even want to write a futuristic novel wherein you happy few retreat to Dr. Strangelove’s bunker, let the rest of us rioting rabble die of starvation and self-slaughter, and then climb out in eight months to repel the Red Guard with flying saucers. But is something like that really the plan? Does the plan really require that we and our children and grandchildren die like rats on the Flying Dutchman? Is something like that in store for us? No? Then why won’t you secure the damn grid?”

Postmodernity: Luxuriating in Half-Truths as It Suffocates on Them

The so-called world map of Piri Reis (a Turkish admiral who was executed for his alarming competence: that’s how politics works) was created in about 1512.  It not only features an Antarctica whose existence no human being yet suspected—so we’re told—but it details rivers and mountain ranges with a precision whose truth could only be verified a few years ago and with the help of LIDAR.  The map shouldn’t exist.  Mainstream science and history can offer no explanation of why it does.

The Egyptian Pyramids have long been said by mainstream historians to be the tombs of Pharaohs, yet not a single corpse has ever been recovered from one.  Intricate shafts, too narrow for a human to pass through, have lately been identified in some of these structures.  The history books continue to insist that human labor piled block upon multi-ton block in the construction process by methods which would have been wholly impracticable.  For that matter, no one can explain how the massive stone blocks were moved dozens of miles from their quarry, any more than the same question can be answered of the megaliths at Stonehenge.

There is substantial, nearly incontrovertible evidence that the Egyptians visited Australia… and that the Maya had a presence in southeastern states like Georgia, and that the Cherokee and other tribes are descended from peoples originating in the Spanish peninsula who island-hopped to the Western Hemisphere during the last Ice Age.  Yet college textbooks and professional conferences ban such viewpoints from presentation.

The Moon is an entirely unique sort of satellite in our solar system.  No other so nearly approaches the size of its parent planet nor holds such a precisely circular orbit so happily coordinated with the planet’s own plain of orbit around the Sun.  Geological evidence contradicts the theory that the two bodies split apart and recondensed after a catastrophic meteoric event, and no computer model can reproduce the supposed path of evolution; yet this is the “story” confidently purveyed by PBS, the History Channel, and every other approved mouthpiece of the science establishment.

I had an early insight into how academe worked when I attempted to publish an article explaining a passage in Virgil’s Aeneid wherein the poet supposedly forgets the strand of his narrative.  I pointed out that if a certain word is translated in a certain fairly orthodox way, then all the trouble disappears.  The article was rejected: the reason offered was that Virgil himself doesn’t use this word in this way in any other passage.  So… because exceptional choices must not take place in a creative mind, according to the “scholars”, the poet remains a clumsy hack whose instances of ineptitude they have cleverly ferreted out.

I haven’t trusted “scholarship” or “science” fully for a long time, and I trust it less and less as I age.  I won’t bore my readers with another recitation of the events surrounding the “Phoenix Lights” incident of March 13, 1997.  Enough to say that an object or objects was or were videotaped by dozens and seen by hundreds in the air space of northern Arizona describing maneuvers of which no manmade craft is supposed to be remotely capable.  Governor Fife Symington himself saw some of the spectacle, vowed to research it, tastelessly disparaged it a few days later, and recently admitted that he was pressured by authorities (whom he did not identify) to make the uproar “go away”.  For its part, the military labeled the events a product of “signal flares”—an explanation patently contradicted by the video evidence of ordinary citizens.  The timing of whatever flares were dropped that night in fact suggests that jets were scrambled to scatter flares in response to the mysterious lights: i.e., our designated protectors almost at once focused their attention of plausible cover-up.

People in positions of authority and prestige lie to us all the time.  It has always been so, no doubt; but the consequence of being lied to have never been so dire.  We no longer live under a monarchy—though, at this rate, we shall soon have something of that species lording it over us.  We cannot make wise or even adequate choices about our high-tech, progressive culture’s future when the evidence supplied to us is not only too arcane for our understanding, but deliberately twisted to manipulate us toward a certain conclusion.  The intellectual inertia and self-serving “review process” inherent in the pompous academic world are bad enough; but when we are required to cast a vote on issues not involving where ancient Egyptian ships traveled, but where our taxes and our children will travel, misinformation is criminal, and may be lethal.

Yet I despair of our adequacy to the task.  A couple of weeks ago, I watched an admittedly somewhat sensationalized hour documentary about the Yeti (a.k.a. the Abominable Snowman).   I didn’t dismiss the opening claims out of hand.  Why should I?  Is an Asian Bigfoot so very hard to imagine?  The vast majority of Americans who chortle and rail at Sasquatch reports inhabit cities where they might see a squirrel twice a week and a raccoon once a month (hopefully not a rat once a day).  Their eagerness not to fall out of step with the “scientific consensus” trumps any faint awareness they may have of their own practical limitations in judging what kind of life a dense, remote forest could support.  Ninety-five percent of Sasquatch reports, to be sure, may readily be classed as misidentifications or hoaxes.  The reminding five percent… well, that’s about the same proportion of times that a poet might use a trite word in a slightly daring sense.

I hate living in a world where the five percent is airbrushed away, on grounds of statistical irrelevance.  The ability to recognize an aberration and then to account for it without dismissing it in veiled mockery could be a possible definition of intelligence.

It could also, alas, define incipient lunacy.  Back to the Yeti “documentary”.  Despite an initial regard for objective methodology, the presentation seemed to worry over its “entertainment value”.  The ante in the hour-long game of marvels kept rising.  Yeti doesn’t just inhabit the Himalayas: no, he’s here, in Northern California (like everything else weird).  Has anyone seen him?  Why, yes: a man garbed in a dress with waist-length hair in a bun and go-everywhere tattoos who has “written a book”.  Could the “investigative team” find any evidence corroborating his claim?  No, none; so… so, you know, this might be telling us that the Yeti is a “spirit being” who can travel through time portals!  Why not?  Native Americans tell tales of just such a being….

I find myself circling back to last week’s post—to the dismal conclusion that we’re constantly being forced into one of two camps.  Either you accept that the World Trade Center was destroyed exactly as given out… or you’re an Al Qaeda sympathizer.  Either you accept that the Second Amendment is outdated… or you’re a child-killer.  Either you acknowledge that manmade climate change will render the planet lifeless in about a decade… or you’re a mass murderer; or either you agree that our chemically saturated, EMR-immersed living environment is perfectly safe and really quite pleasant… or else you’re a green wacko who thinks that trees deserve the right to vote.

Perhaps the next step beyond our inability to sort through all the lies we’re told is a resignation to the “good lies” that support “our side”.  But do you really believe that there’s any dividing line other than that separating truth from untruth?  If so, welcome to the future.

Three Good Reasons to Be Paranoid About Those in Power

After the last post, I might as well draw up the cinch with a big sigh and explain myself better, though to some a mere hint in these matters is unwelcome.

I have now, over a period of six months, discussed three reasons why we—or the vast, out-of-the-loop majority of us—should consider ourselves justified in suspecting that we have been designated expendable, if not slated for the slaughterhouse.

Item One: I’m sorry… but, yes, the first of these is related to the UFO phenomenon.  Scoff if you like.  A good nineteen out of twenty sightings that claim to identify something otherworldly in the skies are misperceptions or hoaxes, and the info-tainment industry has liberally stirred both mis- and dis-information into the pot.  None of that alters the reality of certain events like the Phoenix Lights in 1997: a series of sightings reported by hundreds, videotaped by dozens, witnessed by a personal contact of mine with a security clearance, and observed even by Arizona Governor (at the time) Fife Symington.  Though the Governor would conclude his brief researching of the incident with a lame attempt at mockery in a press conference a day later, for that one day he was as alarmed as his fellow citizens; and he has since confessed (without offering details) that the smirking dismissal of the reports was more or less ordered by Them Who Must Not Be Refused.

These silently and impossibly hovering, silently and impossibly accelerating craft could have been the result of only one of the following: an extraterrestrial visit, a military project in which extraterrestrial vehicles were reverse-engineered, or a purely terrestrial project the principles of whose engineering sophistication have been kept entirely off the academic grid.  Take your pick.  If you wish to join the coerced Symington in smirking at our collective phobia of little green men, then Option Three is clearly your choice… and is it really more consoling than the the notion that wide-eyed dwarves are cruising our skies?  Why is the physics behind this celestial parade wholly unknown at Rice and MIT?  Security?  But if secrets of such depth and consequence are routinely withheld from us, then what assurance have we that they will consistently be used to our benefit in the future?  How does a democratic society process such paternalistic “protection”?

And more immediately to the evidence of the incident… why the Phoenix Lights?  Why the in-your-face display of miraculous engineering over a major American metropolis?  Did the fleet simply veer off course?  If you’ve ever smirked in your life, this would be the time.  My own creeping suspicion is that the event was a kind of probe on the part of the covert designers to study public reaction.  That would mean… well, what else could that mean, but that powers within our state have not only developed technology of a science-fictional sophistication, but that that they—or some few high-ranking string-pullers among them—have also developed an interest in how the vast American mass would respond to an open show of miracle-machines?

So what game is being played when strings are thus pulled?  At what point do we—the great unwashed, the profane uninitiated—get to find out?

Item Two: the insecure power grid.  It is simply inconceivable to me that our nation would have blazed a path well into the twenty-first century without insulating our electricity-dependent way of life from surges of electromagnetic radiation.  These could be maliciously generated by the low-level technology of a second-rate terrorist nation like North Korea, or they could occur naturally (through solar flares).  In either event, a significant Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) could leave most of us without lighting, heating, refrigeration, phone or television service, operative automobiles, restocked grocery stores, functional hospitals, and other essentials of daily living so numerous that about nine of every ten Americans would die within a year (since our generators are not domestically produced and cannot be quickly replaced).  This is a virtual “On the Beach” scenario.  And the United States Congress, during the same two decades that saw a bankrupt Russia and a bureaucracy-heavy China secure their grids, did… precisely nothing.

Now, one must not underestimate the role of irresponsible, egotistical exuberance that overtakes the lives of our representatives when they arrive in Washington.  A kind of childishness descends upon many that, in specific cases, often mimics the influence of outright stupidity.  I do not believe that Barack Obama, for instance, had joined an evil cabal to destroy 90 percent of the nation when he ignored every single recommendation of the EMP Commission.  (As Peter Pry explained to Mark Levin, Obama probably saw the securing of our grid as a bad-faith gesture before those traditional adversaries whose favor he was courting—apparently having skipped the briefing about solar flares in that manner for which he became famous within the Beltway.)  Yet this is always the Washington fashion, it would seem.  The people’s choices wine and dine and posture and hold court insouciantly above major issues like a foolish child skating on thin ice unless and until some firebrand forces the impending disaster into their faces.  Our forty-fourth president had his face lifted too high in the air for very many issues to achieve a direct impact with it.

Nevertheless, somebody should have blown a whistle loudly, especially in the wake of 9/11.  It is incredible that no one did, and that virtually no one has.  (President Trump has in fact taken initial steps toward EMP defense, which may reach completion by about 2020.)  Why is it that we find no dearth of representatives mashing the red button because sea levels appear to creep up around the Chesapeake and the hurricane season has grown testy—yet not a one of them for years has manifested the least interest in a possible extinction event whose occurrence is as inexorable as a major California quake or an eruption of Kilauea?  Can every one of these people have been asleep at the switch for so long?

Or could it be, instead, that the general slumber and stupor prevalent in our nation’s capital have been nursed along by a few insiders?  Are there those in very high places (not necessarily elected positions, but with significant influence over the elected) to whom a “thinning” of our population by 90 percent wouldn’t be such a very bad thing, in the grand scheme of things?  Would not this 90 percent in the “fatality zone” include 100 percent of those who had and have no inkling as to the truth behind the Phoenix Lights?  Is indifference to unimpeachable reports of bizarre craft overhead not fully compatible with further indifference to unimpeachable reports of national calamity just waiting for a solar flare?  In other words, hasn’t our “cluelessness” been checked out, duly noted, and integrated into further calculation?  And wouldn’t it be—to these designers of the grand scheme—a very convenient thing to have the power of zapping your enemies with death rays from flying saucers, but also the freedom of devoting every resource to “progress” rather than paying well over half of the GDP to unemployed rabble and senile vegetables?

Item Three: Now I return to my overly cryptic comments about my high school alma mater’s elaborate newsletter.  I used that text to launch into a Sunday sermon about how the new “suave” and “urbane” for the socially ambitious is leftist progressivism.  This is neither surprising nor unnatural as a broad tendency.  The cutthroat nouveau riche have long been known to endure a mellowing period during which they slip their lion and elephant trophies into storage and buy Picassos for display.  They may even affect certain radical convictions (having gouged the public to amass their own fortune) in a perverse combination of penitence and victory-dance.  The Rockefellers and the Carnegies become passionate philanthropists.  Bill Gates becomes something like the Dalai Lama for forward-thinking people.  Frugality and caution are so crass, you know, darling!

Yeah, I get all that.  And I understand, too—better than most—that a pater familias might wish to advertise his arrival into the highest echelon by sending his kid to a college which actively vilifies wealth acquisition while instructing its young charges in how to change condoms rather than light bulbs.  But… but I simply can’t comprehend how the greater population of concerned donors would continuously bankroll such a meltdown in morale.  For every J.P. Morgan showing off his new social consciousness, there must still be a hundred CEO’s of small companies around.  Are they all that afraid of being “Papa Johned” by the popular press for not supporting the University’s de-gendering of restrooms?

Why have college presidents, for that matter, allowed their English programs to fizzle out, year after year, in course offerings on transgender playwrights of the Fin de Siècle and symposia on female-empowering sex toys?  Yes—again, I recognize that their fear of being branded uncouth in the Chronicle of Higher Education is precisely analogous to the D.C. politician’s fear of wearing the racist tag because he supports secure borders.  In both cases, the will of the enterprise’s true constituency is ignored in favor of placating a few effete opinion-makers.  But… really?  Not a single college president has been willing in four decades to utter these words?—“Sorry, but you’re no longer chair.  This is a conservative area with socially mainstream alumni, and our English program will continue to teach Shakespeare and Milton—without torching the Christian faith at every turn.”

My suggestion is that, with all the other influences discussed ad nauseam by the radio and Internet commentariat, the leftward slant of education has been fashioned with a certain conspiratorial complicity on the part of what should be conservative exponents.  At a very high and embedded level in specific cases—and at a fully subconscious level, no doubt, in subordinate cases—conservative cultural beacons have decided that it’s okay to let the restless masses wander down corridors inevitably leading to destruction.  The intelligentsia want to reject heterosexuality and parenthood?  Fine.  Their toxic effect will be dead in a generation.  The chattering class and the secular Christian-lite clergy want to practice charity by allowing the Third World to flood society unchecked and unvetted?  Fine.  Chaos will ensue, basic rights will be suspended, dictatorial powers will be bestowed… and then the only issue to be settled will be whether the ruling elite veers communist or monarchist.  A non-issue, really: the stronger always prevail.  A Stalin trumps a Trotsky every time, and Cesar Chavez always becomes Hugo Chavez.

Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity can inveigh against Saul Alinsky’s or Cloward and Piven’s revolutionary manual all they like.  The force that most frightens me, as a career academic, is the one I can’t see—the one that should be present in measurable quantities and, instead, shows up as statistical zero.  That force should be coming from the Right.  It’s not.  Like the designer of some diabolically brilliant computer virus, an elite few with incalculable influence have chosen at some previous stage of our cultural debacle to settle back, lace their fingers, and let the worm run through the system.  I can’t name a single one of them, and I can’t see their shadow… but I feel it, cold over my shoulder.  I wonder if they begin to comprehend what a deep place in Hell they’ve reserved for their souls by making this bid to “bail out” civilization?