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Big Brass Blog is a group blog founded in February of 2005 by Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend and Melissa McEwan of Shakesville (formerly Shakespeare's Sister). The mission of this collaborative effort is to stand as the premiere forum where strong, enduring voices of Progressivism provide what liberal politics has been missing: the unapologetic, unrelenting voice of liberalism in the darkness visited upon our world by Right-wing extremists, their ruinous policies, and their hypocritical beliefs.

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27 October 2010

Charlie and the Time Traveler

by: Dark Wraith

Conspiracy theory fans may now officially rejoice. From out of nowhere, with almost no background or context in the world of the strange and hard-to-explain, comes a piece of evidence from a Canadian filmmaker in Toronto, who has been analyzing a very brief scene from some footage related to a 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie.

In the clip is a woman walking across where a movie camera is shooting. The lady, somewhat older and heavy-set, isn't particularly noteworthy until you realize what she's seems to be doing: it looks for all the world like she's talking into a cell phone!

Wait. What?

Watch the YouTube produced by the indy film maker, and you'll see it for yourselves.

Remember that we see behaviors in the context of associations of our own time, and that is very much how any normal, sensible person seeing this clip will formulate an interpretation. That being said, it is still a little challenging to explain as normal, everyday behavior of an older woman in the 1920s what this person is doing.

Here's the YouTube, which has gone pretty viral since it was posted a little more than a week ago.

The fellow narrating the video goes over the top with his speculation about the woman (or man, as he suggests) being a "time traveler," but it's still fun to watch and try to figure out what's going on in the movie clip.

Not-so-extraordinary explanations are available for what the woman is doing, but they don't close the case entirely.

Several people have pointed out that two manufacturers of hearing aid devices in the mid-1920s offered models that were fairly flat (one of them, a Siemens product looked eerily like an iPhone in shape and size); that does not, however, explain why she's talking into the device, which she most obviously is.

One possibility that comes to my mind is that it really is one of those fancy hearing aids, and the lady is not entirely sound of mind, so she's talking to herself.

Conspiracy theorists have noted other subtle oddities about what's going on in the scene, but I won't go into those. Maybe in comments, I will; but I wanted to share this YouTube with all of you and see what ideas you have about what's really going on.

Noting for the record that I do dearly favor a good conspiracy theory — provided, of course, it isn't too easily debunked — I must now make the necessary invitation to let the myth busting, if there is to be myth busting, begin.

· ·
10 December 2009

And now a special memo from the White House.

by: Father Tyme

Through diligent investigation using the latest techniques of the 1950s, I stumbled across the medium the White house uses to communicate with certain Blue Dogs and New Dems. Due to the high security nature of this communiqué, it will self destruct 20 seconds after reading...or by 2012, whichever comes first! Anyone revealing the special information herein will be struck blind, deaf and dumb, never to be believed again, made impotent (except with members of the same sex) or in other words, turned into a Republican.

Pay close attention folk!


· ·
05 August 2009

A Conspiracy For Dummies

by: Debra

After the 2000 election I thought the United States intellectual capital had reached bottom, but I was wrong.  The aftermath of 9/11 and the furious attempt to make someone, anyone pay for the tragedy proved that.  First it was innocent civilians in the country that harbored the soon to be forgotten Osama bin Laden.  But that wasn't enough to soothe the national psyche and so the military and the press were mobilized to attack and invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, that had no weapons of mass destruction (but did turn out to be the weapon of mass distraction) and no need for us to disrupt the fragile balance of power that was preventing internecine warfare.  And more innocent civilians paid the price.  To the average American with their yellow bumper sticker that was acceptable for more years than it should have been.

During the Clinton years what passed for public discourse took a serious right turn.  Into the gutter.  With the help of Fox News and a rotund drug addled pundit we were well on our way to becoming a hate nation.  Getting a blowjob from a consenting woman who isn't your wife is front page news for months.  Fraternizing with underage pages of the same sex, consorting with prostitutes while wearing a diaper, carrying on an affair in another country or while living in a Christian enclave, and soliciting other men in bathroom stalls while claiming to have the moral high ground is nothing to be ashamed of or investigated with the same zeal.  As long as you are a Republican.    Unfortunately for the GOP, one Republican did lose his political career over his sexual antics and is indirectly responsible for the president we now have in office. Very few people remember Jack Ryan (not the Tom Clancy guy) and his wishes to have sex with his now ex-wife Jeri Ryan in a public venue.

Having read all of the aforementioned Tom Clancy novels I can say I love a good conspiracy.  I still think there is more to the Kennedy assassination and while I don't believe that George Bush was behind 9/11, I do believe that the arrogance of the crew without a clue contributed to the success.  Underestimating your enemy is a good way for them to succeed.  So does ignoring presidential memos titled "Bin Laden determined to attack in US".  But this latest conspiracy is one I can't even entertain without a grimace and wondering how gullible and desperate some people can be.


When I was in the Army I went to see a JAG lawyer about my citizenship.  I was born in England in a USAF base hospital as it states on the birth certificate I can no longer find but my passport states that I am and American citizen.  My mother was not a citizen at the time (she became one two years later) and I was concerned.  The lawyer assured me that I was a natural born citizen and could run for president if I wanted because my father was a citizen and I was born on American soil even if it was located in England. 

Obama's mother was a US citizen and that should be the end of the matter.  But it isn't.  The State of Hawaii has certified his birth and explained why they release the documents they do and that should be the end of the matter.  But it isn't.  There were birth notices in two Hawaii newspapers two weeks after his birth forty years ago and that should be the end of the matter.  But it isn't.  Obama has traveled on a US passport in and out of the country several times before becoming president and that should be the end of the matter.  But it isn't.  Hilary Clinton didn't find anything and that should be the end of the matter.  But it isn't.  The US Supreme Court has refused to hear the lawsuit and that should be the end of the matter.  But it isn't.  Numerous newspapers and fact finding organizations have found the birther questions to be without merit and that should be the end of the matter.  But it isn't.

No matter what documents get produced, no matter if someone comes forward that attended his birth and attests to his being born in Hawaii, no matter what information is released, there will be no satisfying those people who rabidly believe that Obama was born in Kenya.  Because in the back of their minds there is no way America could produce a black man who could grow up to be president.  They are supposed to be singing, dancing, acting or in jail.  And that's it.  Anything more and they must be one of them foreigners.

We are on our way to becoming a nation of whiners, crying for do overs.  Don't like the governor of California?  Spend millions of dollars the state doesn't have and recall him.  Don't like the current President of the United States?  Make up spurious claims in the hope that he resigns in disgrace, gets impeached with evidence that isn't there (instead of impeaching the previous occupant with evidence that did and still does exist), or hope that someone you don't know enacts the Tiller solution.  Anything but face the truth.  A majority of Americans elected Obama as the lesser of two evils.

Those of us who had to suffer through eight years of a presidency that we thought was stolen know how you feel and you are going to have to do just what we did.  Wait for election day.  November 6, 2012 is your next opportunity to set things "right".  Until then, quit demeaning yourselves by ranting and raving about an issue that has no merit.  And no proof.


· ·
03 August 2009

The Birthers Were Right

by: Dark Wraith

Obama is an illegal alien

Barack Hussein Obama is an undocumented illegal alien. Notwithstanding the derisive commentary from the Left about those who suspected it all along, the picture above clearly shows that the so-called "Birthers" were more Right than even they suspected.

How we deal this catastrophe is for others to decide. Articles of Impeachment are clearly in order, but is it too late? Time is not on our side: even as you read this, illegal aliens are pouring across the border; and now, one of them has made it to the White House.

From now on, listen to those people the elites call "Right-wing conspiracy theorists." Your nation — indeed, your very way of life — depends on it.

Dark Wraith Publishing will provide further graphical evidence as it becomes available.

Cross-posted from The Dark Wraith Forums

· · ·
27 April 2009

Swine Flu

by: Konagod


Ask me in 3 months if I remember.
15 January 2009


by: Dark Wraith

Via BlondeSense blogger Peter of Lone Tree comes the photo below, posted on a darned fine conspiracy theory site out of the UK. To allow readers here at Big Brass Blog to draw their own conclusions, I used Adobe Photoshop to remove a title on the photo and what appears to have been a hand-drawn red arrow pointing to the feature of great interest. This is supposed to be a shot of Hamas fighters; however, depending upon how you interpret that curious feature, this picture might be telling a story even more chilling than one about what was supposedly a band of masked Hamas militiamen chasing Gaza residents of Beit Lahia from their homes.

Masked Militiamen in Gaza

Was the feature Photoshopped in? From what I can tell analyzing the photo at various degrees of magnification to look for artifacts of image superimposition, probably not. It appears to me (and I emphasize, 'appears to me') to be part of the original subject.

The most compelling argument, by the way, against the legitimacy of this photo is not technical but, instead, logical: Would the gentleman in the picture have been too stupid not to notice this, himself (or too brazen to care)?

Is the feature what it seems to be? That's your call. Consider what you see, the source of the photo, the context in which such a photo would have been taken, and on-going military operations in and around Beit Lahia.

For geography hounds in the reading audience, Beit Lahia (otherwise spelled as Bayt Lahiyah) is not far from the northern border between Gaza and Israel.

The Dark Wraith awaits any observations from interested readers.

· · · · ·
20 December 2008

Problem Interrupted

by: Dark Wraith

How can you tell the difference between a drummer who is a conspiracy theorist and a drummer who is a cynic?

Answer: The cynic doesn’t show up.

Uh... why not?

Answer: The cynic already knows there won’t be an audience.

So, why does the conspiracy theorist show up?

Answer: He just pretends to play for the audience; he’s really there just to hear himself.

But the cynic could do that, too.

Answer: Yes, but if he’s really a cynic, he won’t even listen to himself.

Republican Flight ControlAt 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 19, 2008, Michael Connell was killed when the single-engine Piper Saratoga he was piloting crashed on approach to the Akron-Canton Airport in northeastern Ohio. The plane was about 2.5 miles out when it went down, hitting the ground between two houses in the Stark County city of Uniontown, 10 miles southeast of Akron.

Michael Connell was the information technology expert some activists allege was the mastermind behind the rigging of the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. Mr. Connell was about to testify in Ohio, where his consulting business is based, about aspects of his vote rigging work in the Buckeye State. The non-profit group Velvet Revolution claims that a "tipster close to the McCain campaign" warned an investigator for the group last Summer that Connell's life was in danger and that he should not fly his plane because of the possibility of sabotage.

In late October of 2002, the twin-engine Beechcraft King Air A100 carrying liberal Minnesota Democrat Paul Wellstone crashed on approach two miles from Eveleth-Virginia Airport in Minnesota, killing Sen. Wellstone, his wife Sheila, their 33-year-old daughter Marcia, and five others people. The 58-year-old Wellstone was campaigning for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat. His death paved the way for his Republican opponent, St. Paul mayor Norm Coleman, to win the election. The National Transportation Safety Board ultimately ruled that pilot error caused the plane crash that killed Wellstone.

On October 16, 2000, then-Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, his son, and an aide were killed when the plane in which they were flying, a Cessna 335, crashed just weeks ahead of the election in which Mr. Carnahan was vying for a U.S. Senate seat against the incumbent Senator, John Ashcroft. Although dead, Carnahan went on to win the election against Ashcroft, whom President George W. Bush would subsequently appoint as United States Attorney General. Jean Carnahan, Mel Carnahan's widow, was appointed to take her late husband's seat in the Senate until a special election in 2002. Carnahan's wife lost the special election to Republican Jim Talent. The National Transportation Safety Board ultimately ruled that the primary cause of the accident that killed Mel Carnahan was disorientation of the pilot, Carnahan's 44-year-old son Roger, who had not long before the crash taken special training to handle flight emergencies involving the Cessna 335.

How can the cynic still call himself a 'musician' if he hates what he does so much?

Answer: Because music is his life, man.

And now, for some audio levity:

The Dark Wraith encourages readers to always be prepared for the occasional interruption.

Cross-posted from The Dark Wraith Forums

· · · · ·
08 October 2008

Was Martial Law Threatened?

by: Dark Wraith

An article by Naomi Wolf at Alternet was passed along to me this morning by Big Brass Blog contributing writer Foiled Goil. The title of the article is, "Thousands of Troops Are Deployed on U.S. Streets Ready to Carry Out 'Crowd Control'," and the lead summary reads as follows:

Members of Congress were told they could face martial law if they didn't pass the bailout bill. This will not be the last time.

The article provides a link to the YoutTube video of Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) on the floor of the House of Representatives putting into the record, "...[A] few members [of the House of Representatives] were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted 'No' [on the bailout bill]."

Consistent with this allegation of a threat of the imposition of martial law is the report in the Army Times that the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division, having served in Iraq for "35 of the last 60 months," will for the next 12 months serve in the United States under the service wing of the Northern Command, ostensibly " an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks."

Perhaps related to this deployment and to the threat allegedly conveyed by unnamed persons to members of Congress is the incident described in my article, "March 13, 2008," the day a rare, secret session of the House of Representatives was held. The closed-door meeting was supposedly held so some House Republicans could share secret information concerning reasons to vote for the privacy wrecking ball otherwise known as the revised Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; but the conspiracy theory angle was emerging that the session was really about an impending economic and financial collapse and the steps that would be necessary to control the situation and protect the members of the federal legislature.

Reports of threats, second-hand allegations made on the floor of the House of Representatives, and even confirmed deployments on American soil of U.S. troops for crowd control do not add up to proof of any active plan or scheme by the Bush Administration to impose martial law. Far more evidence would be required, including but not restricted to sworn statements from Congressmen who were, themselves, actually threatened. Should affidavits to that effect actually be executed, however, sufficient grounds would exist for immediate proceedings in the House of Representatives pursuant to expedited impeachment of the President and Vice President of the United States: it would be in such forum that further evidence could be acquired and, more importantly, any possible plot exposed.

Again, though, only an allegation has been made, albeit one consistent with facts, rumors, and other allegations which in their sum are deeply troubling but by no means cause for panic by citizens worried about the continuity of the United States as a democratic republic functioning under the rule of law.

Right now, concern about a possible coup d'etat of some sort is entirely unwarranted; however, a public allegation by a federal legislator that a threat of martial law was conveyed to obtain passage of a piece of legislation is of more than passing concern. If Rep. Sherman was engaging in hyperbole, then he is a fool, and those in his congressional district who vote for him are even greater fools. If, on the other hand, he truthfully reported what actually happened, then he is to be thanked, and those who vote for all of the legislators in the House and Senate who voted for the $700 billion bailout giveaway to the welfare queens of Wall Street are to be condemned for their reckless spending and damned for their capitulation to an outrageous, unconstitutional threat.

Dark Wraith Publishing will provide further reports on this matter should more information become available.

Cross-posted from The Dark Wraith Forums

· · · ·
27 July 2008

March 13, 2008

by: Dark Wraith

Rumors of what happened are as wild as any conspiracy theory could get. This much is clear: on March 13, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives went into secret session, the fourth such closed meeting in recent memory. Ostensibly, the session was closed to outsiders so a "debate" about the then-pending revision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be held.

This version of what was going to happen is supported by the following video capture of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) raising an objection to the proceeding long enough to probe House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on the need for the secrecy.

As can be heard, once he had put into the record his concerns, Kucinich withdrew his objection and stated that he would not attend the secret session; this, unfortunately, means he cannot attest to what actually happened in that meeting of the House on March 13, 2008, although he would have been prohibited by House rules from revealing the content of the proceedings, anyway, even if he had attended.

While the topic of the meeting was set forth in public record, the rumor mill has recently brought forth claims that the content of the secret session was considerably different from a debate about revising FISA., among other sites, asserts that insiders are saying the following matters were discussed:

• The United States economy is facing 'imminent collapse' late this year.

• The 'financing system' of U.S. government is facing 'imminent collapse' early next year.

• A 'civil war' resulting from the economic chaos is possible.

• Citizens likely to be involved in an uprising will be pre-emptively rounded up.

• Those detained will be incarcerated in REX 84 camps being built throughout the country.

• Members of Congress may become subject to 'retaliation' because of the severe problems that will ensue if the economy collapses.

• Provisions have been made for relocating Members of Congress and their families to safe locations should civil unrest threaten their safety.

• The collapse of the U.S. government's means of financing operations, along with the collapse of the United States economy, will compel, or perhaps propel, the binding of the United States with Canada and Mexico into the North American Union.

• This North American Union will then issue a new currency, called the "amero," which will function as a fiat currency similar to the euro of the European Union.

As can be seen from the progression of items in the list above, the rumor slides gracefully into full-blown, North American Union conspiracy theory by the end. Moreover, it is somewhat difficult, although not impossible, to see how a session of the House that was approved on the pretext of a debate about revising the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act could become a closed-door tell-all about the death of the United States as an independent republic. It is, of course, possible that some of those who supported the revision of FISA might use the occasion of a closed-door session to show a coming economic apocalypse that requires extraordinary measures be available to federal law enforcement authorities. This might explain why so many otherwise sane members of the federal legislature voted to pass the abomination of the revised FISA that is now the new law of the land with respect to spying on people.

As an alternative, it is also quite possible that many members of the federal legislature are simply too stupid to grasp the fact that law enforcement authorities now, thanks to the new FISA, have free rein to write and use computer code for routing wiretaps and aggregating the acquired data that is so complex that not one federal judge currently on the bench has even the slightest prayer of ever figuring out what the snoops are doing to comprehensively eliminate American citizens' right to privacy.

All of the back-and-forth about what really happened in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 13 aside, the cautionary tale from the conspiracy theory version is this: a government that conducts its business behind closed doors invites not just bad legislation, but also wild conjecture about what is really going on.

Imminent collapse of the U.S. economy and the federal government's ability to finance operations, FEMA concentration camps operationalized to hold malcontents by the hundreds of thousands, the end of the United States of America as a sovereign nation: these are all the stuff of rank conspiracy theories now given life by federal legislators who clearly believe the public's business is none of the public's business, at least when it comes to debating legislation to eviscerate the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution of any practical meaning whenever federal law enforcement deems necessary.

Instead of cracking down on the staggeringly common use of National Security Letters by the FBI to circumvent judicial control over searches and seizures, the Congress has handed law enforcement at the federal level carte blanche to spy at will; instead of condemning telecommunications companies for working with the Bush Administration to illegally spy on Americans, the Congress has handed those criminal conspirators immunity from civil actions by the citizens whose rights they violated; and instead of openly conducting what was apparently an important debate about further degrading the constitutional protections of the citizens of this country, the House of Representatives went into secret session.

Whether or not there is a grain of truth in what the conspiracy theorists say happened during that closed-door debate, the salient question is quite obvious. If our elected representatives do not trust us in their deliberations, why, then, should we ever trust what they say when they condescend to address us?

It seems that, whatever was said in that closed-door session of the United States House of Representative on March 13, 2008, it was all too important for us to hear.

The good news is this: eventually, we will find out.

Unfortunately, that's also the bad news.

The Dark Wraith will now accept applications for conspiracy theorists-in-training.

Cross-posted from The Dark Wraith Forums

· · · ·
13 July 2008

Conspiracy Sunday

by: Debra

Fatigue?  Wouldn't they have to have done something first?  And by the way, Katrina didn't trigger mass evacuations.   Days after the original damage was done, the government took the opportunity to divide families and prevent return of the people by use of the diaspora technique.  The Big Easy is growing again, just not with the people who gave the city its uniqueness.   But that was probably the plan all along, n'est-ce pas?

Jimmy Carter said it many years ago in his race against Ronald Reagan, it's taken almost thirty years but the job is almost done.  North against South, rich against poor, old against young, black against white, white against everybody, coasts against flyover country, men against women, etc.  Next thing you know only those living in protected enclaves will be allowed a say in government since the rest of us will be considered savages by those who have everything.

Everything is going according to plan.  Nothing to see here, move along.  Especially if the goal was to increase the size of the underclass.  Without good paying jobs throughout a neighborhood, people won't be able to save up for down payments again and if they are working part time jobs they are credit risks and their ability to get a loan is reduced.  Or as JollyRoger likes to put it, welcome to the Shruburbs.

Egg rolls with ranch dressing?  An no one thought to test this woman for being drunk?  The thin blue line in San Jose is sustaining another hit.  Courteous?  I don't think so.  Covering up for a former coworker because they went little too fast is one thing, covering up an alcohol induced car accident where innocent people are hurt is not cool.  It's also illegal and at the rate that this story is growing, someone besides the drunk driver is going to pay.  With their job.

I've been doing my best to keep mom out of any type of care facility and her doctor and I are going to have a discussion about why he hasn't prescribed any meds for the early onset of Alzheimer's but expects me to keep her blood pressure in check.  She wanders around bewildered most of the time, having no clue that what she is doing isn't the right thing, and if she could recover even a little mental function, I would be able to get another part time job to supplement our income.  Waiting until she won't be able to feed herself is foolish and extremely tiring for me.  And I'm not the only one who has notice the misplaced priorities of the healthcare system.  Unfortunately, compared to England we have no system at all.

Who cares if we already can't live on what we make now, much less save half our income for retirement?   Living on 30% less as we get older shouldn't be too much of a strain on us.  It isn't as if we worked our whole lives and contributed to making the United States one of the greatest nations in the world.  Now when you get old you are considered to be a drain on society.  Off to the Soylent Green factory.  See what happens to a generation that didn't want to trust anyone over 30?  Now that they're 60 they can't trust anyone.  Even though it was the conservatives they themselves voted in during the '80s that set us up to have a destitute future with no way out except a lingering death.  The generations that got us through the first Depression, the Second World War and produced the children who became the computer generation, are being treated like so much toilet tissue.  And used at that.

22 June 2008

Papieren Bitte!

by: Konagod

I wasn't kidding earlier about Mexico. Angelos says fuck you. No, actually he said, "Fuck. You."

Subtle difference.
Washington, DC - Hidden deep in Senator Christopher Dodd's 630-page Senate housing legislation is a sweeping provision that affects the privacy and operation of nearly all of America’s small businesses. The provision, which was added by the bill's managers without debate this week, would require the nation's payment systems to track, aggregate, and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the federal government.

This is getting irritating, and I'm being WAAAY too kind.

Angelos got the email tip from The Dark Wraith. So did Melissa McEwan. Somehow I missed it. Thank God I read blogs.

Crossposted from konagod.

(Hey, DW, you need my email address? I'm a busy man these days. Any advance notice of the shit hitting the fan would be much appreciated.)
01 June 2008

A Brief Resurrection of the Conspiracy Theorist within Me

by: Dark Wraith

I owe Scott McClellan a debt of gratitude. You see, the right question had finally slipped my mind.

This is the wrong question: What are people within and around the Bush Administration capable of doing?

This is the right question: What are people within and around the Bush Administration not capable of doing?

So many of those who could be described as "9/11 conspiracy theorists" build their allegations of conspiracy upon real and imagined associations, speculative relationships, and shards of circumstantial evidence linking this person to that person and this group to some other group. The usual suspects are often involved: the Bilderberg Group, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the Skull and Bones Society, the Zionists, the descendants of the Merovingians, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and even, as I saw in one video, aliens (for God's sake). Include enough groups, and surely one will find suspicious connections when looking at any large-scale event.

Perhaps some of these groups or people within them really were involved in the attacks upon the United States of September 11, 2001; but I cannot get excited about such stuff. It is nothing more than useless, speculative associations built after the fact, and it is generally fatiguing. Occasionally, it annoys me, considering I am a Freemason. Nevertheless, although some within the various 9/11 conspiracy theory movements are genuinely off their rockers and have no point whatsoever, there remains a body of nearly compelling evidence, a great deal admittedly circumstantial and speculative, that the 9/11 Commission did not even so much as touch; and I can state without reservation that no future, official commission that might revisit the matter will ever go within light-years of a complete, thorough, and comprehensive investigation.

Quite aside from the usual conspiracy theory fans, however, are some who have offered technical analyses, which can be reviewed, critiqued, and confirmed or rejected without reliance upon belief in the quality of hearsay and guilt from associations. Below is one of the better analyses of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The gentleman is Gordon Ross, a mechanical engineer. His presentation, which was done in London last year, is not slick and polished, yet he establishes a credibility about himself by the very way in which he walks a tightrope between technical explanations and appeal to those less knowledgeable in matters of skyscraper construction and demolition.

Although some readers might already know the details, there are a couple of places where the mild distraction of his nervousness simply vanishes as a point in structural engineering comes to life in a couple of photographs he presents. One of those is when he shows pictures of the discoloration of the ends of the beams recovered from the wreckage. Another, although still somewhat technically advanced in his theoretical presentation of the phenomenon, is when he shows photos of the concavity of specific beams recovered. But what really might catch the astute viewer's attention is when he starts showing the pictures of what he describes as the "flash" sites preceding the collapse of the first tower to go down. You can clearly see, although he does not use the term, quite a few of the "squibs," which are what demolition jockeys call the puffs of smoke that come out from the sides of a building where charges are detonating in the seconds before a building is brought down. Yes, there are other explanations for what is in those photos, but he makes a rather compelling point about the likelihood of a whole series of phenomena all happening simultaneously and just prior to the collapse. A whole lot of weird things happen during a catastrophe, and there is a natural tendency of weird things that should happen randomly instead to cluster. However, there is a point where the appeal to such an argument simply becomes untenable.

Just watch the video, and when you are finished with it, please feel free to comment in favor of or against Mr. Gordon's premise and his claims. Beyond that, perhaps you can answer the essential question to which I, myself, have finally returned: Could 19 crazed jihadists armed with nothing more the box cutters possibly have brought not one, but two full-sized skyscrapers clear to the ground?

Although I have no intention of spending much more time than this post crying in the wilderness for some awakening, neither do I plan to simply forget about my doubts. Life is too short to be a conspiracy theorist, but life is just a little too long to permanently pretend that incongruous lies are not worth calling for the obvious prevarications they are.

Then again, perhaps the truth and what we are supposed to believe really are one and the same. This Administration has certainly given us no reason to think otherwise.

The Dark Wraith hopes the next President, whoever it is, does not waste any time or energy trying to restore "trust" to an institution in which lying is easy and getting away with it is even easier.

· · · ·
09 May 2008

Commentary Analysis

by: Foiled Goil

James Pence Video

05 May 2008

A Conspiracy Theory Primer

by: Dark Wraith

The 2002 horror movie The Ring wove a tale about a horrific video that would predicate the death in seven days of anyone who watched it. The only way to avoid this fate was to further propagate the video, allowing others to suffer its fatal curse. Personally, I enjoyed the movie; but, then again, I'm a sucker for scary movies, although I can pretty much always do without gore-galore festivals (unless the victims were really, really bad actors). The Ring was satisfying for me to the extent that it presented a kind of terror too remote to make me worry about some real-world version of its central premise coming true.

Therein was my potentially grave error in assessing the story line of The Ring, and I have now decided that the only way I can dispense with what could otherwise be an unwanted curse upon my soul is to invite—indeed to encourage—readers to watch a 139-minute film by über-conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Prison Planet. The movie is herewith embedded near the end of this article.

Long-time readers of my articles might recall that I have mentioned Mr. Jones in the past, specifically with respect to the fact that maverick Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul appeared in a film of his. In my tradition of diplomatic understatement, I wrote of Alex Jones that, "[He is] believed by at least some rational people to be a few cheese cubes short of a snack tray..."

That aside, for readers who want a remarkable, although incomplete, rundown of a principal branch of conspiracy theory, allow me to recommend Alex Jones's 2007 movie, Endgame. It is sweeping, and it is compelling. It is also deeply flawed, primarily by the way it, like most conspiracy theories, constructs conspiracy by virtue of mere associations, some of them familial, others chronological, still others even less well-defined. For example, Jones connects the evolution theory of Charles Darwin to a cousin's twisted ideas on eugenics, and then he goes on to associate the early eugenics whackos—admittedly including a number of Charles Darwin's subsequent family members—to the later eugenics whackos like Adolf Hitler and the better-race promoters in the U.S., including the predecessor to Planned Parenthood. In all fairness to Jones, however, he does not directly attack the theory of evolution, nor does he condemn the idea of the right of women to choose abortion; but he does seem to have an intense interest in offering a less-than-dim view of the foundations of many modern-day organizations, including everything from the World Wildlife Federation to the Federal Reserve system. Along the way, as well as going after the predecessor to Planned Parenthood, he jumps on the usual list of conspiracy theory hot buttons like the United Nations, the European Union, and NAFTA. I roll my eyes every last time the conspiracy theorists trot out these worn-out whipping boys, although the matter of that trans-America highway corridor is a little less of an eye-roller than meets the eye, particularly since officialdom in Washington acts to this very day like the thing doesn't even exist.

I must admit that, within the sweep of his attack, Jones goes after some of my favorite rich-boy charlatans. One of them is Al Gore, a gentleman who in my own, personal opinion is a PowerPoint-wielding, sky-is-falling elitist-opportunist. My published writing and comments about him are harsh and unyielding, and I am not in the least impressed by his Nobel Peace Prize, awarded as it was to a quite comfortable, upper-class gentleman at the same time in history that genuine heroes the world over are rotting in prisons, being tortured, and getting executed for demanding such trivial things as freedom in unfree lands. Yes, the Presidency of the United States was stolen from Mr. Gore; but, no, sometimes it is not better for the Republic that its wronged meekly stand down, for their surrender is not theirs alone, but is also the sacrifice of the millions who will then suffer under the reign of the venal thieves wretchedly proclaimed victor.

Enough with grinding the personal axes; this post is about Endgame, which is, as noted above, incomplete. While it fabulously explains the Bilderberg Group—a favorite sore spot of any self-respecting conspiracy theorist—it completely avoids mentioning the Illuminati, Opus Dei, Freemasonry (although a stylized version of the All Seeing Eye is presented several times), the Jewish conspiracy, and anything whatsoever having to do with UFOs. (Those who know about these matters will, however, notice in the movie all kinds of visual hints of other conspiracy theory threads.) Strangely, avoiding a free-fall involvement of all these other branches of conspiracy theory keeps the movie from drifting into complete silliness.

Along the way, the movie gets a little slow in some places, but the tenor re-attains fever pitch at several places in the last half. Without giving away too many details, the mention that Hillary Rodham Clinton did a half-day appearance at the 2006 Bilderberg Group conference is worth noting. No, she's not a Bilderberger: a half-day visit would mean she was there to briefly present herself for the core group to consider. At that 2006 conference, by the way, Jones got photographs of none other than the disgraced Ahmed Chalabi of Iraq pre-invasion disinformation fame; Chalabi was slithering around at the hotel like some kind of creepy denizen from the depths, apparently a welcome participant in the confab of the rich and powerful.

Another fun part of the movie is the interview into which Jones suckered a young Rothschild heir, a fellow heavily into promoting save-the-planet concerts. Jones threw a rather ludicrous "fact" at the dear boy, who took the bait like an idiot and responded with one of the most self-defeatingly stupid answers I've ever heard from an ostensible heir to shadowy greatness. I actually had to get out of my chair and walk a few feet away during the Rothschild pup's blithering oral dance. Whether or not Jones knew his "fact" about other planets in the solar system exhibiting signs of warming was ridiculous, he certainly got a future Bilderberger to make an ass of himself.

I should also point out that Endgame touched a soft spot in my heart as it took on such historical icons as Bertrand Russell, a man whose bizarre statements about depopulation made him someone I have reviled both as a person and as an intellectual inspiration my whole adult life; Russell resides in the same level of my esteem with self-fawning sods like Ayn Rand and Henry David Thoreau. Another joy to my heart came in the mention that Vice President Dick Cheney, in making his triumphal return to the Council on Foreign Relations some years back, commented on the use of ethnic bio-weapons. (Gee, with stuff like that being talked about by White leaders of the Free World, it's no wonder people like Rev. Wright are considered total lunatics when they start their bizarre rants about AIDS being human-manufactured to kill Blacks.)

I tell you, if all that wasn't enough, I became downright giddy when Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were trotted out for a brief flogging.

Yes, for me, Endgame was a veritable orgy of evil, sinful, wrongful delight, the kind of stuff I know very well is just plain mind-rotting in the same way a rare, fatty, 20-ounce steak cooked on an open fire and a nose-piercing, mucous-clearing cigar are bad for me. God! but it was sweet.

For me, the list of pleasure points in Endgame was rather long; but just because Jones and I have a common manifest of disliked creeps and just because we share a deep concern for the emergence of an authoritarian state, I simply cannot allow that I agree with the scope of his conspiracy theory. I do not, and the reason is quite simple: even though the Bilderbergers really do imagine themselves controlling the fate of the world, and even though their idiocy has caused actual harm, they are pathetically incompetent in their silly plans, schemes, and dreams. Unless their master plan really was to crater the world economy with a blithering combination of neo-liberals, neo-conservatives, communists, Right-wing thugs, religious nutcases, and assorted other thunderously ignorant operatives, where we are headed would be the very last place putative global controllers would have wanted to go: down this path we are plunging lies what will in all likelihood be a horrendous, destructive clash of classes over everything from food to shelter to freedom. As enfeebled of mind as Americans have been for a long time, and as weak and reckless as political opposition has been to the insanity of the Bush Administration, its military adventures abroad, and its ever-expanding, ever-more-intrusive law enforcement machinery at home, the dynamic will change, and the change will be dramatic.

It will also be ugly.

Shadowy, filthy rich cretins who meet once a year to plan the fate of the world would be awfully stupid to risk a global economic collapse that could just as easily lead to anarchy as it could to some pretext for a one-world, authoritarian government solution.

Certainly, those shadowy, filthy rich cretins are not that stupid. Such an idea is every bit as crazy as saying that the richest, most powerful nation on Earth would allow itself to be ruled, and thereby economically destroyed, for eight long years by a vicious, moronic, inarticulate, power-mad, secretive, incompetent fool.

The very idea is laughable.

Anyway, grab some popcorn, pour a drink, close the curtains, and spend a little more than two hours watching Endgame. If nothing else, it's certainly worth a laugh.

The Dark Wraith gives it two thumbs way up.

Cross-posted from The Dark Wraith Forums

· · · ·
24 February 2008

"They Were Screaming."

by: Dark Wraith

Be entertained by this crazy-quilt of flawed logic; be aware of the tenuous thread of real warning; and finally, be sure to dismiss it all as madness.

If you find this video rattling, whether you like it or not, you have what it takes to be a genuine conspiracy theorist.

In that melancholy event, the Dark Wraith welcomes you.

· · · ·


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