Conspiracy theories – are they true?

From the beginning of time I imagine there have been conspiracy theories. Countless books, movies and television shows have successfully and quite convincingly shown how any type of conspiracy is not only possible but quite plausible. But have you ever noticed how they are essentially the same? They always involve some shadowy group of rich and powerful people duping the rest of the population, whether locally or globally – apparently we’re just too stupid to see it. The motivation is always power or money or both and it almost always has to do with some significant public event. Whether wars, stock market dives, plane crashes, outbreaks of strange diseases even catastrophic weather phenomenon.

And too the conspiracy is so deep and so hidden that we are helpless to stop it. Because we will never be in control. This shadow government or group in control will always have the power and we are but mere sheep being led to the slaughter.

Maybe that’s my problem with these theories – that if I chose to believe them that I would also have to believe that I have not one whit of control over my life. That no matter what I did or thought or created that it would not change one thing. That my fate is completely in the hands of strangers and my life had truly no meaning whatsoever. So that being the case, what would be the point of living? What would be the point of anything?

Even if all the conspiracy theories in the world were true, what good is there in believing them? Does it enrich anyone’s life? Does it change anything? Does it help anyone in any way? Don’t get me wrong, I most certainly believe there are groups of powerful individuals doing as much as they can to manipulate things in their favor so they can amass more power and material riches. Absolutely. I also believe there are kingmakers, people who stay in the background and use their money and power to place people in positions so they can do their bidding – but that is also known as politics and it’s as old as the planet. A conspiracy of sorts I suppose but a pretty poor excuse for one if you ask me.

Lots of people like to believe in global warming is created by man, that September 11th was an inside job and that we went to Iraq for oil. Okay, you’re free to believe what you like but I’d have to say that you believe such things because some part of you wants to. Some part of you wants to believe that you are not wholly responsible for whatever condition you find yourself in maybe even to blame a bit of your fate on someone else. As the old sentiment goes when you go looking for a boogie man, you often find one. Although it doesn’t necessarily prove that there are boogie men as much as it proves the theory of self fulfilled prophecies.

So while I completely agree that there are many more powerful people in this world than I, who are manipulating as much as they can in their favor, I don’t believe that they control my fate or my actions. I still know that one person can change the world quite literally and conversely huge groups of people can have no effect whatsoever on the world at large. That sometimes things just happen and that we are never in control of everything, nor will we ever have a complete explanation about everything that happens in this world. Some things simply are mysteries, no matter how much we crave answers for them, manufacturing an answer never satisfies.

So the next time you find yourself enthralled with a conspiracy theory you might want to ask yourself this question. If this is the truth, why are there still other theories abounding on the very same thing? Is it just that everyone else is a fool or an idiot, or it is that no one really knows? Or heaven forbid – is it just not true?

What do you think?

copyright 2010

I Want Your Money

Interesting documentary showing this weekend. I guess Michael Moore isn’t the only one who has something to say. Of course in the case of Moore, he’s really a fictional documentarian, rather than the real deal.

To find a theater near you showing this documentary click here.

Theme Friday Hiatus

Hi everybody,

For those of you out there who tune in for the Theme Friday posts – I wanted to let you know that we ‘themers’ will be taking a bit of a break for the time being.  Between family, schedules, work, school and business the time just isn’t there.  Hopefully, in the new year we’ll get our acts together and return with Theme Friday anew.  Thanks for your understanding.

 

Writer Chick

Are you scared or angry?

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of opinion pieces and other articles that discuss the current political climate. I suppose that’s to be expected because the mid-term elections are looming large on the horizon and let’s face it, the last couple of years have been tough for most of us.

A large majority of us voted for hope and change because we didn’t like what we were seeing. We thought an ‘outsider’ could perhaps change things and right the direction of the country. Two years in, it seems that many hopes have not been realized and in fact, intense debate rages on both sides of the political spectrum.

Take for instance the eruption of what is loosely called the tea party. The thing about the tea party is that it is not an organized group with a centralized leader. It is essentially a spontaneous movement that has grown as people have become more aware of how bad things are or are becoming or have been for some time but they didn’t realize it (depends on what view you take I guess). But for whatever reason, a spark was ignited and many individuals came together for a common purpose. In essence to change the way things are.

Now a lot of mean stuff has been said of this ‘group’ although it’s hard to call it a group because really it’s a bunch of small groups that have a similar view. But for the sake of argument let’s call it a group. Anyway, so it’s been said that those involved are racist, haters, phonies, Republican shills, bigots, idiots, trailer trash, rich white people, astro-turfers, even the term terrorist has been bandied about. (Excuse me, ever heard of peaceful assembly?) But it seems that whatever names it or they are called it’s about anger, rage, hatred.

Personally, I don’t see it that way. I don’t see it about anger at all. Admittedly I am conservative and so see a lot in the Tea Party view that I can agree with but it’s not about anger or rage. I think it’s more about fear. It’s more about being scared. Of what you might ask. Well, a lot of things. Aside from the obvious problems of mortgage problems and difficulty in finding work, which tends to upset and affect everyone I think about losing what Americans by and large have always enjoyed. The protections of our form of government. The Constitution was written quite carefully amid much debate and deliberation and written in such a way that it (the government) could not easily ignore the will of the governed.

However, in the last two years we have seen that being circumvented. For example, regardless of whether you are for or against nationalized health care, the majority of Americans did not want it. At least not under the 3,000 page plan that was passed. Every poll showed that Americans were not in agreement with their representatives passing it. Thousands of people descended on Washington D.C. to make sure that message was heard, although after the letters, phone calls, polls and faxes I’m not sure how the politicos couldn’t have gotten that message. Clearly, since it was forced through by all manner of trickery and wheelings and dealings, it was a known fact that the public did not want it. Yet we got it. Prior to that and ironically after having campaigned against big government spending, our new president pushed through more bailouts. This was something the liberals went absolutely ape-shit against when Bush approved the first bailouts. Yet once in office, it was something that apparently not only made sense but needed to be done in spades. The second wave of bailouts positively dwarfed anything Bush had done. All in the name of spurring the economy. Which it didn’t. And again people were vocal, the public did not want it. But did anyone listen? It would seem that no they didn’t.

And the list goes on.

So back to the fear. Americans have always believed that they have a voice in what happens in our country and with our laws. What issues shall and shall not be addressed and/or handled by government. What are federal issues and what are state issues. But again, more than anything the voice. Each American is supposed to have a voice in what happens in our country, without fear of reprisal, consequences or ruination. At least that’s how it’s always been.

Now, not so much. Now it seems like no matter what we say, how many letters we write, faxes we send, events we hold, etc. our voice is being ignored. That the politicos feel so empowered that they can ignore us – that we are not the public allowing ourselves to be governed but rather the unwashed masses, the little people, the subjects of the new kingdom, once known as America.

And yep, people are scared. They are scared to death. And frankly I don’t blame them not one bit. Because it’s not just about whatever laws are being passed but the attitude of our ‘leaders’ that we don’t need to be listened to. That our voices are not valued nor important – and frankly we just aren’t smart enough to know what is good for us – so it is their job to decide that for us.

That is a scary prospect. Americans don’t want to become subjects. They don’t want to become serfs or servants – they want to be what they have always been – Americans. A unique concept and one perhaps that most of the world doesn’t understand and may resent. But America is like no other country in the world and from the beginning it was never intended to be – it was meant to be unique, original and different. It was intended to be a place where men and women could be free and pursue their lives in peaceful co-existence. And too many of us see that slipping away – recently at an alarming rate. So yeah, we’re scared. At least most everyone I know is scared – including me.

What about you, are you scared or angry? Or something else?

copyright 2010

Liberty and the 10 Cannots

Perhaps more than ever, we have liberty and freedom on our minds. Between the economy, current events and burgeoning political movements it’s hard to know what to believe and what direction to go in. Although, the following strikes my fancy. It certainly is food for thought.

The Ten Cannots by William John Henry Boetcker (1873 – 1962)

An outspoken political conservative, Rev. Boetcker is perhaps best remembered for his authorship of a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots. Originally published in 1916, it is often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln. The error apparently stems from a leaflet printed in 1942 by a conservative political organization called the Committee for Constitutional Government. The leaflet bore the title “Lincoln on Limitations” and contained some genuine Lincoln quotations on one side and the “Ten Cannots” on the other, with the attributions switched. The mistake of crediting Lincoln for having been the source of “The Ten Cannots” has been repeated many times since, most notably by Ronald Reagan in a speech he gave at the 1992 Republican convention in Houston.

There are several minor variants of the pamphlet in circulation, but the most commonly-accepted version appears below:

* You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
* And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

Boetcker also spoke of the “Seven National Crimes”:

* I don’t think.
* I don’t know.
* I don’t care.
* I am too busy.
* I leave well enough alone.
* I have no time to read and find out.
* I am not interested.

I don’t know about  you, but I think this is something to really think about.


WC

What’s so good about being moderate?

Back in the 90’s (I think) the term moderation took on a mantle of respectability and desirability in politics. Perhaps it was Bill Clinton who made the idea popular, although since Bill stole every platform he ever used I doubt he is the originator, but I digress…

So somewhere during the slick willie days (funny how that term has pertinent meaning today) being a moderate or approaching issues with moderation became important. Yes, moderation was goooooood – whereas sticking to political core principles was baaaaaaad.

And as is often the case, pop culture took on the mantle of moderation too. Exercise in moderation, eat in moderation, one must never over-do things. Because employing moderation is safe, everybody will like you, you won’t risk injury to your body, nor seem extreme to others.

And lately of course the non-moderate media (NMM) hails the current nominee for the Supreme Court as a moderate. A true moderate. As opposed to what? A false moderate? A pretend moderate? A moderate with exceptions? Again…I digress… Anyway, here’s the question that keeps roiling around in my head: Why is being a moderate good? Seriously, what’s so damn wonderful about moderation?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines moderation:

transitive verb 1 : to lessen the intensity or extremeness of (the sun moderated the chill)
2 : to preside over or act as chairman of
intransitive verb 1 : to act as a moderator
2 : to become less violent, severe, or intense (the wind began to moderate)

So, essentially we see that moderation speaks to less intensity. Hmm…and this is good why? To me, intensity speaks to passion and passion speaks to commitment. A true belief or desire in what one does or says. I can certainly see why one would want to moderate electricity or water flow, because then we humans can control the darn stuff. But when it comes to people, to beliefs and to principles is moderation truly that desirable?

Isn’t moderation what got us into the whole politically correct approach to language, achievement, education, and everything. Hasn’t moderation modified us all and I mean that in a not a good way.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to address food with moderation. I love food. I don’t want to be moderate I want to embrace it with passion and enjoyment. Same with love. And really with any activity or endeavor. Otherwise why get involved at all. If one addressed everything in their life with moderation who would invent things? Who would create wildly new and exciting innovations in science, medicine, art, music, literature, technology. Do you think iPods, the Internet, automobiles, movies, and great works of art came about through moderation? Do you think that great leaders are born out of moderation? Do you think cures for diseases came from moderate individuals? Is the SuperBowl won by athletes who approach the field with moderation? How about the Olympics, are we celebrating moderation or excellence and passion?

So, then why would we want a Supreme Court Justice who was moderate? Who was dare I say it, almost bored at the prospect of serving their country and the most sacred of our documents the Constitution? Why would we want someone who would put fairness above the law?

Contrary to popular opinion, we are not a democracy. We are a republic and we use a democratic system of government – meaning, we allow individuals to participate in government and legislation and to have a voice through their individual vote.

Again I turn to Merriam Webster:

Republic:

(1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law

Democracy:

1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority

And if you don’t see the difference let me point it out. A republic is governed by the rule of law – a democracy is governed by majority rule. A fine distinction perhaps but a distinction nonetheless. And that my friends is why our Constitution is so important because it is in fact, the personification of the rule of law. And thusly, that is why nominees to the Supreme Court are so important. Because we want someone who understands and adheres to the rule of law. Not someone who seeks to modify it, to make it fairer, to level the playing field, to add to it, to make it a living breathing document. What document can be that? Living and breathing? If the founders wanted the Constitution to be a living breathing document as some would have you believe then why would an entire process of amendment be included in the document itself? It is the amendment process that enables the Constitution to be changed/expanded, not some yahoo’s idea of what the document should be. And those who promote this concept of living breathing also seek to deny you your rights and the protection of the Constitution. They seek to bypass the law of making amendments which again must be ratified and agreed upon by the majority of the country – you the governed.

Whether you like it or not, our government serves at our pleasure and with that concept comes grave responsibility. If we do not insist on our government following the rule of law, we will soon be following their rules and this country will cease being a republic.

And speaking for myself, I have no interest in moderates. To me, a moderate is a person who cannot decide, who does not have any passion in their life or activities and who seeks to destroy that in others. Who seeks to nullify any personal excellence and achievement in others and prefers to force us all to be the same. All average. All boring. With every ounce of passion and individuality bred out of us.

So moderate? Exuse me while I yawn. Give me someone who is passionate about what they believe and do any day of the week.

WC

Sold Down the River

I’ve had it. So if you don’t want to read a rant, move on because I’m about to blow. Today, our current president was quoted as saying he didn’t think any nation should have ‘undue advantage’ over other nations. Yet again, our leader in chief works hard to belittle, demean and lessen America and Americans. This man who bows to foreigners and apologizes to illegal interlopers demanding rights to which they are not owed – doesn’t ever miss an opportunity to demoralize the country he is supposed be leading and representing. He listens to everyone but his own citizens and the people he purportedly represents.

And promotes the enemy line about America and Americans whenever and wherever possible. And I am sick to death of it. This attitude of our president and anyone else for that matter that America is somehow cheating others because they have so much makes me want to scream. Well I’ve got news, the reason Americans have so much is because they have worked their asses off to get it. Through enterprising and innovative business solutions, growing a better apple, building better mousetrap, and using our own rugged individualism to bring about prosperity. Our resources and our wealth or possessions, health or education system did not fall from the sky. It was created through ingenuity, blood, sweat and tears. And many, hundreds of thousands of Americans have been sacrificed their very lives to protect it and protect the rights of Americans to continue to pursue such activities.

That other nations feel entitled to criticize the United States and the American people for what they have only shows that such individuals are petty and jealous and likely lazy. Rather than being creators of a free nation of their own that guarantees personal freedoms and the right to pursue happiness they prefer to be children of their governments sniveling over every need and whining to be taken care of – meanwhile griping about America and Americans. Well screw you guys.

There isn’t one nation in the world that America has not helped, either by defending their borders, their citizens, bringing technology, catastrophe aid, medical research, medical aid, food, agricultural assistance and so forth. Every nation on this planet has America to thank for much of what they have.

And Americans, despite the shoddy treatment they receive and the endless criticism on the world stage never hesitate to help anyone in need or in trouble. There is no nation on earth who gives more foreign aid, or is more chartible than America.

And am I tired of being sold down the river at every opportunity by this presdient and his administration. His utter agreement with animosity expressed about his own country is startling and unacceptable. He was not elected to minimize the strength or sovergnty of the United States but rather swore a Constitutional oath to uphold and protect it. And it’s time he started. Wake up people, the country that you know and love is soon slipping down the river along with your personal freedoms and your American identity. Yes, that’s right folks, there is an American identity – and many of us are very proud of it. Those who aren’t, I feel sorry for.

It’s time for our president to stop blaming others for what he created. For the debt he has heaped upon your children and grandchildren. For shutting an entire industry down because his administration failed to predict and correct an issue that now gushes in the Gulf. For making false promises about jobs, and change and turning around the economy. For demeaning his own citizens for insisting he honor his pledge to the Constitution.

And please if you are from a foreign country don’t even think about making a comment that is critical of my country. You do not have the right and you have no free speech rights here. And that aside, I do not give a damn about your criticism of my country, if I did, I would read your socialist newspapers. Do me a favor and go burn your own flag for once.

Oh and if you need help – hopefully this administration will take longer to respond to your pleas than it did to the pleas of its own people on the Gulf Coast.

WC

Does Anyone Want a Solution?

There is a lot of stuff happening in this country and the world today. I suppose that is always the case, although in the last several months it seems worst than it has been in the past. And honestly, much of what is happening I find personally scary and alarming. The deficit, the apparent disinterest on the part of our leaders in what the average citizen is concerned about, states going bankrupt, no legislative body showing any real concern about approving a budget much less making budget cuts, giving unelected officials the right to rule and regulate our personal lives, making the EPA part of a shadow government and in the future will tax us for exhaling, politician’s accosting private citizen’s and being defended for their actions, dissention being targeted as hate speech and terrorism, government taking over entire industries, the blame game left and right…..

In my opinion anyone who isn’t alarmed by such actions and much more is either delusional or has been living in a cave for quite a while.

But I for one, would really like to stop the blame game, the partisan rhetoric, and the gotcha games and pose a very simple question: Does anyone really want a solution? Seriously, let’s consider this shall we? In private life, most people when they encounter problems whether large or small tend to want to solve the problem. They may not always succeed but there is certainly an effort to find solutions to those things that work against us. Whether they are created by another person, a circumstance or a natural disaster. For example, last year we had horrible fires at the end of the summer in my community. In fact, I posted many pictures of the fires, some of which were literally down the block from me. I’m proud to say that my community, the firefighters, the police and so forth focused on the problem and did everything in their power to solve it. It did take a while and not everything tried work but I can truthfully say that a solution was everyone’s focus. And in the end, solutions were found, used and the problem was handled.

So, when it comes to larger problems, national problems, international problems, etc. why then is not a solution the focus? Why is the American public by and large satisfied to just let our leaders lay blame. It’s so and so’s fault because he did this and now this is why I can’t do that? A person elected to be a leader is supposed to be a leader and a leader is supposed to be the guy or gal who knows how to solve problems, right? Whether it is the president of the United States or the local city council member. But rather than solving problems PR damage control is the focus. Anecdotes about conversations with children are offered rather than finding solutions, nice speeches or not so nice speeches filled with excuses and finger pointing.

And all the while, while our leaders fail to solve existing problems they legislate more rules, regulations and attempts at taking over parts of our personal lives. Laws now exist that say American citizens must buy certain products or be fined or imprisoned. The government now must decide what we may eat, breathe, think, say and do. Those are not solutions those are impositions upon personal freedoms.

And then the causes….don’t get me started on those either. When was the last time you saw any cause that was for something rather than against something? In my mind being for something is much more likely to bring it about than being against something is likely to stop it.

I admit that I am a bit of a political junkie and I find the field interesting, fascinating and somewhat nauseating – and I love debate because I think it is debate that brings about different views, and can in reality if done sincerely can bring about real change. However, most political debate is about hating the side you are not on. About smearing and belittling people and degrading them in public forums. And I’m not talking about satire I’m talking about venom, hatred and vitriole.

I wonder if some of the most popular people to attack were on ‘the other side’ if they would be so hated. If Bill Clinton had been a Republican and gotten sex in the Oval Office while he was supposed to be doing the people’s business would he have remained in office? If Sarah Palin were a Democrat, would the ladies on the View be fawning over her left and right? If Al Gore had been a conservative would anyone have gone to see An Inconvenient Truth? If George Bush had been a liberal would his bailouts, prescription medicine initiative, and budget and deficit fall-out been hailed by the media? If Maureen Dowd spewed her venom about liberals would she even have a job? If Chris Matthews loved Chris Christie and got a tingle down his leg every time he spoke, would MSNBC issue his pinkslip?

The point I guess I am trying to make is maybe if we stepped back and viewed any leader whether public or private on the merits of what they were actually saying and doing from the standpoint of truly wanting to add to the solution to the given problem, rather than adding to turmoil would things change?

Personally, I think the time has come for Americans (at least) to stop and think. Forget what ‘side’ people are on and really evaluate if that person is trying to solve anything (particularly those things for which they are responsible for solving) just trying to get you worked up into a lather about something so you won’t notice that they are solving nothing.

No one would accept that kind of behavior in their private lives. Bosses who seek to bring the company down and fire good and effective workers are hated not revered. Co-workers who goldbrick and get paid for doing nothing and resented. Businesses that treat their customers with resentment and condescension don’t long remain in business, pastors and priests who exploit members of their congregations soon find their churches empty, criminals who steal, harm and injure other citizens are thrown in jail. Why do those who supposedly lead get a pass?

At the very least, it may be something to think about.

WC