Thursday, September 28, 2006

Six Conspiracy Theories I Want To Know More About-And Maybe You Do As Well

Huffington Post
Russell Shaw
Six Conspiracy Theories I Want To Know More About-And Maybe You Do As Well

By training and occupation, I'm one for hard evidence rather than automatic conspiracy-theory buy-in. Just because something can happen doesn't mean it will, has, or is. And as has often been said, correlation does not imply causation.

That said, there are six conspiracy theories and related matters that I do wonder about from time to time.

Stuff that despite lack of confirmation, I am unable to totally dismiss. I'd like to share these with you now, and invite your comments.

Here goes:

Has The U.S. Government Been Opening Census Records?- U.S. Census records contain personally identifiable information on nearly every American. There are strict statutes mandating the sealing and lock-down of these records for 70 years after the latest Census. Yet with the Bush Administration constantly violating the rights of American citizens in the quest to investigate "terrorism," how many of us can be totally sure that they haven't at least tried to open Census records, with secret courts then granting that right? The only realistic reason this may not have happened is that with the last full Census having taken place in April, 2000, those records may be too old to yield results of interest to prying government eyes. If news hits the fan about this some months down the line, I will be pissed- but not shocked.

Is The Price of Oil Being Manipulated To Remove High Prices as a Campaign Issue?- As the peak summer driving season fades and the composition of gasoline is tweaked to lessen expensive anti-pollution chemistry, gasoline prices commonly dip each autumn. But there may be more at play here. It's no secret that Americans have been blaming Bush for high gas prices. Many who drive a lot live in the Republicna- friendly outer suburbs and exurbs- and might be tempted to switch to the Democrats this Congressional election out of anger with a Republican party seen as cozy with big oil. At least partially, are these lower prices an effort to keep sprawlville in the Republican camp- and hold the House and Senate as a result?

Does Fidel Castro Have Terminal Cancer?- Let me lay this one out for you. A few months ago, Fidel nearly died from internal intestinal bleeding. Weakened, he turned power over "temporarily" to his brother Raul. When Fidel did so, he said something to the effect that Cubans need to be prepared for really bad news. We've seen few photos or video footage of Castro since then. Add this up- near-grave intestinal bleeding, ominous admissions from the man about his own mortality, a virtual news blackout since then- get where I am going with this?

Have UFO Reports Been Suppressed By Conservative Christians In The Military and Government?- A veil of silence and secrecy followed the UFO sightings in Roswell, New Mexico in the late 1940s. Other reports of alien landings and abductions have similarly been suppressed. Many highly conservative Bible-thumping preachers believe the Bible teaches us that not only were we made in the image of God, but we are special, and the only sensient creation in the universe. But what if we had physical proof this was not the case? I buy that the authorities have feared any such news would frighten the public, but we now live under a regime where the cultivation of fear is not avoided, but strategically embraced. We now have a military with a strong base of evangelical believers, and many of their civilian and military commanders adhere to the same beliefs. So if in fact there are UFOs (which I am not sure of) would suppression of alien intelligence be an effort to not introduce a Bible-disproving element into the world?

Is "Stolen Election" Talk Being Used As a Voter Mobilization Tactic?-
Although I side more with Mother Jones and Salon than Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Mark Crispin Miller on this issue, I say that if all this Diebold-bashing helps motivate enough progressive voters to turn out that either or both the House and Senate change hands, all this talk will be worth it. And Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is at it again in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. Not that he and authors like Miller aren't sincere in what they are asserting, but is at least part of their motivation in keeping this issue alive to drive up turnout from citizens who have had enough? But will all these conspiracy allegations motivate progressive voters or dishearten them so that they don't turn out while the GOP base does? (Of course if you say what's the use of voting, the election will be rigged anyway, then you aren't part of the solution to ending this one-party rule in Washington).

Now my last question goes back five years, but has relevance to the present day.

Was The October, 2001 Downing Of American Flight 587 Really a Terrorist Attack?- It happened two months after 9/11- an American Airlines jet bound for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic crashed shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport in New York City. Rudder-related pilot error was found to be the cause. Immediately, I began to think that if this actually was a terror attack- such as a bomb in the cargo hold- and word got out, few people would fly for years and the entire U.S. passenger airline industry and the American economy would be decimated beyond financial repair. I than began to consider the possibility of a desperate conspiracy of silence promoted by a government who didn't want to see this happen. I do, however, have to counterbalance those suspicions with the fact that unlike other terror incidents, no person or group took "credit." Also, would Al-Qaeda or some other group plant a bomb on a plane whose passengers were as I recall, mostly Dominicans who the terror group had no direct quarrel with?