A Theory About Conspiracy Theories

I theorize that the most ingenious and evil scheme ever launched by tyrant wannabes was to convince the vast majority of Americans that not only is every theory concerning undisclosed collective actions by people in government automatically false, but it is also something that could only be dreamed up by a lunatic. Let’s sort out what is so brilliant about this scheme.

Let’s first dispel the idea that people in government never conspire to advance their own interests at the expense of others. While I would hope that stating the proposition as I just did would lay bare the obvious fact that people in government do that, let’s take this step by step.

According to Dictionary.com, a definition of conspiracy is: “an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.”

Hopefully, everyone would agree that 1) some people conspire, 2) a government official, i.e., a “public servant,” who puts her interests ahead of the interests of the public when formulating, implementing, or carrying out policy is committing a wrongful act.

Let’s also hope that no one is so naïve as to think that never happens. At a minimum, the very fact that so much government information is classified and closed congressional hearings and agency meetings are commonplace reveals that people in government have no compunction about keeping information secreted from the public. What are they doing in there? No doubt, many of those meetings are benign. The idea that all of them are is daft.

Some people, including government employees, conspire.[i] By definition, conspirators endeavor to conceal their wrongdoing. Good governance requires reasonable efforts to ferret out and prosecute governmental wrongdoing. Because many conspirators are experts at keeping their secrets, a systematic, scientific approach to uncovering their secrets is usually required to bring the wrongdoers to justice. Let’s examine the standard way that is done.

The scientific method is the standard process by which truth is found. The scientific method starts with a hypothesis, proceeds to a theory, and hopefully, finds a truth. Merriam-Webster puts it this way:

In scientific reasoning, a hypothesis is an assumption made before any research has been completed for the sake of testing. A theory on the other hand is a principle set to explain phenomena already supported by data. Theories will pull together experimental results to provide full explanations such as “The Big Bang Theory.” Outside of scientific reasoning, “theory” and “hypothesis” are often used interchangeably, and “theory’ can unfortunately be interpreted to mean “less sound” or “lightly speculated.”[ii]

BTW: When a theory is proven, it becomes a “law,” something nearly universally considered to be the truth.

Note that “The Big Bang Theory” is very widely, though not universally, accepted among scientists as the best explanation of what happened. A careful scientist would not claim that theory describes a fact because there is no way to prove it. On the other hand, some theories are more likely to be correct than others. Compare Copernicus’s to Galileo’s. Do all the scientists who accept “The Big Bang Theory” to be very likely real wear tin hats? I think not.

The point is that both hypotheses and theories (both of which are called “theories” in common parlance) are a necessity in the process of discovering non-obvious truths.

Most theories prove to be incorrect. As Thomas Edison vividly illustrated with, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10, 000 ways that won’t work,” discovering what is incorrect is extremely valuable in the search for truth. Such discoveries enable scientists to quit wasting time on flawed theories and develop a new one that might be good. Unless one knows that a thesis contains a fallacy, to dismiss, much less shout down a plausible theory before it is tested is not only unscientific, it is idiotic.

Yet, here we are. Some nefarious geniuses have convinced the public that every theory concerning a conspiracy involving the government must be dismissed out of hand. It’s nuts.

In science, most theories prove to be invalid. The same is likely true of theories concerning the conspiracies among powerful people. Nevertheless, some powerful people do conspire to advance their interests at the expense of everyone else. Unless one of the conspirators spills the beans, the only way to reduce government corruption is to develop a plausible theory about the possible crime, investigate, and to continue to theorize about things that seem awry until the theory that uncovers the truth proves out. Hopefully, that scientific process reveals that the government is not as corrupt as it appears to be. However, because the automatic dismissals of conspiracy theories have protected criminals, I fear that the more likely outcome of pursuing conspiracy theories will be the discovery of much government corruption.

So whenever someone dismisses a hypothesis or theory about government corruption by saying, “I smell a conspiracy theory,” she is rewarding the nefarious geniuses who launched that evil meme and is aiding and abetting conspirators.


[i] List of federal political scandals in the United States

[ii] This is the Difference Between a Hypothesis and a Theory

Silencing of the Lambs and Wolves

I just saw a comment on a Facebook post about Amazon deciding not to continue hosting Parler on Amazon servers, i.e., shut Parler down. [For those who don’t know, Parler is the place many people being banned or hassled by Facebook and Twitter fled to exercise their right to speak freely.]

The comment said, “Business move, not political.”

My response to this question is: What difference does it make why Amazon and other businesses facilitate/implement the government’s desire to infringe on American’s freedom of speech?  When the powers-that-be (the government, Big Tech, MSM, the Intelligencia, and others) honor people’s petitions to silence other people because the petitioners do not like what those “other people” say, more and more petitions will be made, and more and more speech will be banned. As if the tyranny of that is not bad enough, keeping up with the continually changing rules as to what is mandatory and what is forbidden can become impossible. At that point, officials can say with certainty, “Show me the man, and I will show you the crime.” Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police.

That process can quickly devolve to the stage where loyalty oaths are mandatory (“silence is violence”), and those who do not deliver the pledge with vigor and apparent conviction are doomed. Examples of this kind of tyranny are many, but I doubt anyone has described the end of this process better than Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. See the webpage linked below.

Of course, this outcome is not inevitable, but I can’t figure out what can stop the process. If unstopped, neither lambs nor wolves who do not comply will have a chance.

SOME CHILLING PUBLIC SPEAKING HISTORY

We Have A Problem

Last night I could not log into Parler with either Chrome or Edge. Having heard about the widespread banning of people and organizations by lots of Big Tech platforms, I suspected the browsers were blocking access to Parler. Then I learned that the problem was that Parler was overwhelmed with web traffic. I was relieved — for a moment.

Then I saw that Apple had sent a message to Parler: “Moderate violent threats or face ban.” Whatever Apple meant by the term “threat” is entirely within Apple’s discretion, i.e., Parler is at the mercy of doing what Apple tells Parler it must do.

This morning I’ve learned that Google beat Apple to the punch by removing Parler from its Play Store. Google and other browsers can be programmed not to present any website they choose. Who knows what all they can do to users who enter a verboten web address? If Big Tech does what the deep state wants them to do, history suggests that the deep state will smile in satisfaction with the power afforded by its political arm controlling all three branches and proceed to gain more power.

If you are watching what is going on, you can see an illustration of Lord Acton’s observation, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I doubt, however, that anyone in Lord Acton’s age could have imagined just how much power could be accumulated.

I’m reminded of astronaut John Swigert’s immortal words, “Houston, we have a problem.” The difference is that no one was against America solving the problem the Apollo 13 spacecraft experienced.

Was Supporting Trump A Mistake?

A Facebook friend replied to a comment on one of my posts saying this:

“I was thinking just this morning about a conversation I had with a co-worker at Carrizo during the campaign. Like so many, I was in amazement that Trump was getting so much support. His comment to me was ‘maybe we need to toss a monkey wrench in the machine and see what happens’. Talk about being careful for what one wishes for. Honestly, I would like to remind him of his statement and see if he still thinks that the events of the past 18 months was worth it.”

I guess that his co-worker would say that it was worth it. Let’s sort that out.

The last 18 months were awful, and much of that awfulness is attributable to the left’s hatred of Trump by many Americans, especially deep state Americans. [Of course, things would have been much less awful had the Democrat politicians and bureaucrats treated Trump as their Republican counterparts treated Obama. That, however, is a different subject.] So, things would not have been so awful had a Republican swamp creature been elected, but not likely by much. [See below for a discussion of how awful things would have been had Americans elected Hillary.]

While Trump had too many faults for me to go gaga over him, I get why so many people did and still do. Foremost, he is a genius when it comes to relating to those Americans who several prior presidents, president wannabes, and others in power had ignored, ridiculed, or considered deplorable as they pursued policies that Trump supporters believed to be ruinous. Before his election, they had suffered through “the swamp” becoming larger, stronger, and more expensive, intrusive, and corrupt.  Adding insult to injury, the swamp creatures exempted themselves from the rules they imposed on everyone else and came after everyone who opposed them, e.g., religious people and the Tea Party Patriots.

Adding to the discontent, the MSM became more fake, political correctness and cancel culture became more oppressive; the left’s claims about “our values” (which are antithetical to American values) gained traction; disclosures of corruption by Democrats was suppressed by Big Tech and the MSM and imaginary corruption by Republicans was hotly pursued; district attorneys and state attorney generals were not enforcing the law against favored felons and self-declared “sanctuary” cities and states (and getting away with it); growing welfare rolls and benefits, veterans being ignored and the military being downsized; and no Republicans effectively fighting any of it. [The foregoing is an abbreviated list of grievances.]

As bad as the above items were for the people who became Trump supporters, with the notable exceptions of Reagan and Gingrich, hardly any federal politician noticeably tried to slow the acceleration of Democrats’ hotrod rumbling down the road to serfdom. Many Trump supporters had always suspected that federal-level Republicans played the role “opposition” similar to the Washington Generals feigning steal attempts as the Democrat Globetrotters ran up and down the court, slam-dunking on them.  Trump supporters presumed that the Republicans played that role because they were either Republican in name only or were in on the corruption’s booty.  Because the Republicans did almost nothing when they held all three government branches during Trump’s first two years in office, those suspicions turned into beliefs.

Trump came down the escalator and started denouncing villainy and villains in the story above, i.e., he was saying what the people who became Trump supporters had been pining to hear from politicians for decades. By doing that, Trump easily and quickly dispensed with all the other Republican presidential candidates who were too busy trying to look presidential instead of taking the fight to the opposition. Trump handily beat Hillary because he was NOT Hillary. In so doing, he became a hero to many because he was saying the right things, appeared to be a doer, and had promised to drain the swamp. His victory over Hillary validated their beliefs about him, thereby creating a personal connection between himself and his supporters.

Many, perhaps the vast majority of Trump supporters, thought that Obama had fundamentally transformed America into a crippled giant that would finish the slide into totalitarian socialism, i.e., a world in which only the wealthy and powerful of the world could thrive. For the non-rich and wealthy, a course reversal was necessary for Americans. They saw proof of the transformation in the constant bashing of American values in schools, on TV and in film. Many of them were worried about China buying US companies, funding its news organizations, co-opting sports leagues, and curating the content of Hollywood films. They saw the Democrats doing nothing effective to stop the rising threat from China and even seemed to encourage it. A smaller but noticeable percentage of them believed that much of this was going on because Washington Politicians were selling America’s interests to line their own pockets and gain power.

While in office, Trump (unlike the Bushes and the vast majority of other Washington politicians) fought earnestly for what his supporters believed needed to be done. His defeat of Hillary was seen as giving the country four years to attempt to save the country. Vanquishing the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in Washington was a necessary step to getting the country back on track, and Trump pledged to do that. As flawed as Trump was, Trump supporters viewed Trump as the only person who might be able to give the country a chance of getting the nation off the road to ruination, a path they believed the country was on.

Trump has failed to drain the swamp. The swamp drained him. With the inauguration of Biden, the swamp will continue to siphon the country’s wealth and power away from the people and to itself. (Many of them believe that Trump still has plans to drain the swamp. I doubt that he does, but who knows?)

So, while the above take on Trump supporters may not apply to my Facebook friend’s co-worker, many, perhaps most Trump supporters believe that because Trump was the only shot the country had to save itself from a brisk jog to the end of the road of serfdom, “it was worth it” to take a chance on him. My guess is that they will give him credit for trying and continue to disdain the swamp. BTW: While there are several things I like about Trump, I’ve never been a Trump supporter. On the other hand, I too believe that he was the only person in the country that could beat Hillary. Because a Hillary administration would have been so bad for the country, I agree with the Trump supporters who believe that taking a chance on Trump was worth it.