Sunday, January 06, 2008

What makes a conspiracy theory?

Two interesting reads -


Political Assassination 101
by Joseph Palermo

The French philosopher Michel Foucault called the unfolding of history the "exteriority of accidents," which was his way of saying "shit happens." Any historian will tell you that political assassinations are not surprising or new. As grade school students we all learned that President Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated, shot with a pistol by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater. And Booth was part of a "conspiracy."

Charles Guiteau assassinated President James Garfield in Washington, D.C. with a handgun. And Leon Czolgosz assassinated President William McKinley in Buffalo, New York, also with a pistol. There was an assassination attempt on President Theodore Roosevelt.

Introductory history textbooks often claim that World War I was sparked by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. And the Bolsheviks assassinated Czar Nicholas II and the entire Romanoff family to make sure they never returned to power.

And then:

Barack Obama, RFK, and Blackwater

also by Palermo

In 2008, Obama is gaining momentum, and hopefully people inside his organization are cognizant of the fact that he constitutes a very real threat to the likes of Blackwater, Dyncorps, Halliburton, and the hundreds of other private companies currently profiteering from the Iraq occupation.

Blackwater, that reactionary private mercenary outfit headed by the right-wing Christian nationalist Erik Prince stands to lose big time with an Obama presidency. Under George W. Bush Blackwater went from a marginal company with about $27 million in government contracts to a behemoth currently receiving over $1 billion in federal largesse.

It was revealed after the massacre of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad by Blackwater mercenaries that the U.S. State Department cannot function in Iraq without the services of the well-connected private company. Blackwater has a lot riding financially on keeping the Iraq occupation going and a lot to lose if it is ended. (Please read Jeremy Scahill's book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.)

Under an Obama Administration Blackwater would no doubt be cut down to size along with Bush's other crony capitalist entities. The Blackwater Boys no doubt have close friends and ideological soul mates deep inside the federal security services.

My comment: I wouldn't be surprised.

Actually, there was one more interesting read this morning that I think is somehow related:

Melissa Etheridge speaks out for Dennis Kucinich

"In a voice that rang clear as a bell she enunciated a list of her concerns about what is happening to this country's democracy. What struck this interviewer the most about her comments was how impassioned she was about how corporate control has shut out sincere political discourse. As she said, "The consequences of this action is we see infomercials rather than a debate. The system is infected and pressing down on those who are progressives.


"That ended our talk and was truly her biggest fear: If the corporations are allowed to say who can and who cannot speak to us, then they are saying what kind of democracy we can or cannot have."

My comment: In truth, the main stream media in this country is owned by seven entities. In the past there were rules, laws and regulations that prevented corporations from monopolizing the media. The organization that owned the newspaper in a city or town (or market as we are fond of saying these days) could not also own the television station AND the radio station. Over the last twenty years or so that has all changed.

What happens to the "market place of ideas" that is the cornerstone of democracy when all the messages you hear originate from a single source? or a group of sources that all have the same agenda? Could it be that your opinions might be manipulated? Isn't that what a conspiracy is all about? Controlling the events and then controlling the story?

Connect the dots.

Conspiracy theories after the fact are one thing. Seeing it coming is quite another thing altogether. So, for the hell of it, lets speculate on the odds.

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