Conspiracy Theories : Exhaust Fumes from the Angry

Photo montage by Larry Ray / The Rag Blog.

Exhaust fumes from the angry

What better way to divert attention from the catastrophic eight years of the Bush-Cheney administration than to fan the flames of discontent with renewed conspiracy theories and tacit encouragement for simmering racism…

By Larry Ray / The Rag Blog / April 1, 2010

Some time ago a kid I had years earlier been asked to sponsor at an Eagle Scout awards ceremony invited me to his wedding. Call him Stan. He had razor sharp quick wit and an unquenchable interest in everything around him. From a poor background, Stan was a likable young redneck who had managed to earn the merit badges needed to become an Eagle Scout. He clearly had a high IQ which had gone unchallenged for most of his young life.

I was given a map to the location of the wedding. It was far out in the country up north of the coastal Biloxi-Gulfport metro area. I had always marveled at how in less than half an hour one enters thick pine forests and a totally different world, detached from the tourism, golf courses, beaches, and all the glitz of the casinos “down on the coast.”

The wedding at an old settlement church at the end of a gravel road was brief, plain, and functional. The bride’s full skirt helped conceal her pregnancy. The reception was in a large room beneath the church. Women and kids shuttled in bags of chips and other snacks from the cars and trucks outside.

Stan’s new bride poured me a paper cup full of Hawaiian Punch right out of the can as friends and family gathered for the party. Stan introduced me to his father, a rumpled rather dour man in his 40’s. He shook my hand and almost immediately pulled me aside from the others and looked me in the eye conspiratorially and asked what I knew about “the new world order.”

I didn’t know what he was talking about. Stan walked over briskly before I could answer, and trying for a bit of levity, I said, “Stan your father just asked me if I knew about the new world order. I’m not sure, do you know if that order was for here or to go?”

Stan guffawed. His father stiffened and folded his arms across his chest. Stan quickly led me off to meet his mother and other relatives. He rolled his eyes and said, apologetically, “Man, I forgot to tell you about my old man. Just ignore him. He is all off into that kind of stuff.” I had just met my first conspiracy theorist true believer face to face and it was unsettling.

I later would learn the wide range of beliefs in secret societies and evil plans afoot all designed to bring ruin, harm or even imprisonment. British polemicist, Cristopher Hitchens, defines conspiracy theories as the “exhaust fumes of democracy.”

Those who ramble on about the Freemasons, the Tri-Lateral Commission, satanic cults, “the Clinton body count” and of course, the “birthers” are a duke’s mixture of folks whose angst and anger can be traced back some 2,000 years. Early believers felt that a religious, social, or political group or movement would cause a major transformation of society for better or worse, depending on what one was believing. World domination or end of the world… depending.

Early Christian Millenarian groups proclaimed that the current society and its rulers were corrupt, unjust, or otherwise wrong. The Lutherans in about 1520 condemned the Millenarians. Countless new “we are right and you are wrong” cults and sects have been forming ever since, based upon narrowed religious interpretations, politics, pseudo science, and lots of rumor and wild speculation.

America has its own religious sects with their very own prophets, founders and teachings including Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists, and Christian Scientists just to name a few. All seem good folks seeking enlightenment, proclaiming peace and goodwill and devotion to good works.

Former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, as well as U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Harry Reid, are among 16 Mormon members of Congress in both houses who wear “sacred underwear” to remind them of a “continuing need for repentance and obedience to God, the need to honor binding covenants voluntarily made in the temple, and the need to cherish and share truth and virtue in our daily living.” Visitors are not allowed into the inner sanctum of their huge temple in Salt Lake city, however.

Extreme fringe groups may claim a loose Christian connection but they also easily mix in hatred, racism, paranoia, and patriotism. Hundreds of obtuse and extremist groups flood the internet with classic conspiracy beliefs including the American Nazi Party, White Power Worldwide, several skinheads groups and deniers of all sorts. On November 18, 1978, a charismatic psychopath, Jim Jones, founder of the conspiracy-based People’s Temple, led his gullible and devoted followers into one of the largest mass suicides in history, convincing 918 people to drink poison-laced Kool-Aid.

But if we dial down the level of these extreme examples of anger, political confusion, misplaced faith and too often, gullible ignorance, we can get a picture of conspiracy-based protests and activity in America today.

We already have a 2012 doomsday prediction and in the news this week, the Michigan Militia, calling themselves “Christian warriors” and training to battle the Antichrist, were planning to kill a police officer then set off roadside bombs to kill policemen who would gather en masse for the funeral. Nine of those folks have just been rounded up and jailed. Prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, said of the group, “They fear this ‘new world order’ and they thought that it was their job to fight against government — the federal government in particular.”

Fifteen years ago Stan’s father’s “new world order” beliefs were less militant but probably not too fundamentally different from those of the Michigan Militia “Christian Warriors.” But 15 years ago he and his buddies mostly railed and fumed amongst themselves, reinforcing their beliefs and forming bonds in their churches, clubs, and civic organizations.

Today conspiracy internet sites and cable TV talking heads like Fox News and Glen Beck, and Rush Limbaugh’s raving radio programs, keep the anger among conservatives stirred up 24 hours a day.

Conspiracy believers, who are so easily influenced by rumors, innuendo, and outright lies, are, however, not easily dissuaded from their view of the world, even after the rumors, innuendo, and outright lies have been totally and repeatedly debunked. They cling to those beliefs because it allows them to be members of a group and it sustains a sense of belonging. Intellectual challenges are seen as threats to what they fiercely already know to be the “real truth.”

The USA’s landing on the moon, for example, is still thought to be a hoax, all filmed on a movie set. Fox news even aired “Conspiracy Theory: Did we land on the moon?” Even with moon rocks having been studied by scientists around the world and proclaimed to be of extraterrestrial origin, conspiracy nuts like Bart Sibrel were still out there screaming about the “government coverup.”

Sibrel might have had some sense knocked into him when he confronted Buzz Aldrin in 2002 and called him a “coward and a liar.” Aldrin, 72 years old at the time, socked Sibrel a good one in the jaw.

Today’s conspiracy theorists have what they feel is a rock-solid target with a black president having been elected by “liberal Democrats.” That he is a constitutional scholar, has worked at the grass roots with the poor and disadvantaged after becoming a Harvard educated attorney, and is extremely bright and “motivates the world” is proof enough for them that he is the Antichrist. And others who don’t believe in Antichrist predictions still don’t like him because he is black. Period.

The Tea Party crowd today certainly contains a large percentage of those disaffected supporters from the McCain-Palin rallies where we heard shouts of “kill him!” and other violent epithets against Barack Obama. Obama’s clear victory validated a mandate for change. But the Republican party has pledged to keep Obama from succeeding, no matter the consequences for the country. Many ultra-conservatives have taken his election as a personal insult.

What better way to divert attention from the catastrophic eight years of the Bush-Cheney administration than to fan the flames of discontent with renewed conspiracy theories and tacit encouragement for simmering racism to come out into the open once again. Tea Party extremists were easily whipped up to scream “nigger, kike, fagot, baby killer” at the nation’s Capitol where some actually spit upon elected officials. Republicans stood on the balconies of the Capitol building holding posters egging on the ranting mob below. What a great Tea Party everyone was having!

President Obama and his administration have had the stamina and calm determination to take on the toxic Bush political and financial disasters with unpopular, costly damage control while also moving forward with other badly needed and long ignored major legislation. Obama’s perseverance resulted in beginning historic health care reform legislation.

Applauded by many at home and around the world, this progress has, however, created increased fear and anger among Obama’s detractors rather than generating hope. The clouds of dissent are thickening, as Hitchen’s noted, from “the exhaust fumes of democracy.”

The last thing soured and riled-up conspiracy theorists and simplistic political protesters need is an even darker cloud over them. Perhaps their hot air will disperse their own exhaust fumes and allow some clear light to shine upon them. Or perhaps not.

[Retired journalist Larry Ray is a Texas native and former Austin television news anchor. He also posts at The iHandbill.]

The Rag Blog

This entry was posted in Rag Bloggers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Conspiracy Theories : Exhaust Fumes from the Angry

  1. Alex Porter says:

    This place is starting to smell of propaganda.

    There are many on the international left who are very suspicious of Obama. It’s not just red-necks and conspiracy theorists as you call them but highly regarded intellectuals like investigative reporter and human rights campaigner John Pilger who pointed out that Obama’s first job was with a consultancy firm which is a well-known CIA front.

    Obama’s largest donations were from the very banks whose senior staff now crowd his administration. He has intenisified wars, given bail-outs, abused war crime laws since day 1 of his presidency.

    His support for the bail-outs and failure to deal with systemic fraud is causing mass unemployment and homelessness.

    And you bang on about conspiracy theories. Well, I would like to know where JF Kennedy’s brain went. Would you have been scoffing at the Nazi conspiritors in Germany like many did before they came to power? Every time there is an arrest there is a conspiracy theory and not until there is a conviction is there a conspiracy fact. Of course not all crimes are discovered and so there are millions of conspiracy theories which are very legitimate going around every day.

    And what of the professors like Bob Black who will explain in great detail how your government needs to be cleaned up as part of the process of restoring the financial system?

    And what of Greg Palast’s work that show’s that the IMF deliberately impoverishes countries so that Western companies can take their resources cheaply? And the IMF and the World Bank are joined at the hip and 51% owned by the US treasury which is joined at the hip with the Fed which is owned by banks.. Can not the world’s reserve currency be used to finance a war machine? Are there not 600 US military bases around the world? Is the War on Terror not obvious nonsense? And taken all together is this not a New World Order? You don’t need to talk about masons or trilateral commissions or whatever to see these economic and military facts..

    Sorry but this is not a very good take on ‘conspiracy theories’ – nothing new, just reeks of ignorance, complacency and lazyness.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Alex Porter, humans conspire to protect their shared interests all the time, denying that there are political conspiracies is silly and for what reason?

  3. Glad this article has so quickly reached the constituency about which it is written. I am sure you could both expand upon the conspiracy theories out there and regret that this this quick primer is a disappointment.



  4. Jay D. Jurie says:


    I completely agree with you. The truly sad part is that the stunted conspiratorial mindset has begun to infect the left. It’s a lot quicker and easier for some to cook up opinions, no matter how irrational, rather than do the hard work of researching the facts and developing tangible analysis.


  5. I guess its slim pickings for Thorne these days, as progressive media nationwide ratchets up the hate articles to deflect attention from Obama’s damaged and diminishing presidency.

    You dont have to look much farther than several articles on THIS blog to ferret out some favorite left wing conspiracies .. like the military was in Haiti, not for humanitarian earthquake relief, but as a precursor to taking control of the country. Or like Mr Delgado’s breathless accounts of the US military conspiracy to destabilize Venezuela from their bases in Columbia.

    My favorite conspiracy theory, oft repeated by the dim bulbs that author this tripe, is that all criticism of oBummer by the left is based on his bad policy choices, but criticism by conservatives can only be attributed to: they “don’t like him because he is black. Period.”

    As Mr Ray pointed out They cling to those beliefs because it allows them to be members of a group and it sustains a sense of belonging. Intellectual challenges are seen as threats to what they fiercely already know to be the “real truth.”. I rather doubt he was envisioning panicked and depressed progressives when he wrote that sentence. But he unwittingly wrote one of the best descriptions of left wing America that I have ever read. I will be using it in future articles, with credit of course.

  6. Alex Porter says:

    The problem here is that a lot of hard investigative work has been done by folk far more eminently qualified than Larry.

    I would point you to John Pilger (internationally recognised investigative journalist) and Greg Palast (same) whose work goes into infinitely more detail than this name-calling diatribe. Not content with that you can look up the works of Prof Bill Black who worked for Obama before his election and who wrote the book ‘The best way to Rob a bank is to own one’. Prof Black outlines in painstaking detail the conspiracy to rob the US population by those in and around the Bush and now Obama administrations.

    The facts are all there if you can be bothered researching them. You can’t group together folk who are suspicious of your entire political war state with those who believe in Elvis being alive. Well, you can if it’s comforting.

    It’s very comforting to call anyone who disagrees with you a conspiracy theorist republican motivated by hate. The problem is I’m on the left and Scottish now living in Spain. Hardly the consituency you imagine exists..

    It’s uncomfortable when your fear and loathing is wrapped up in comforting semi-political mythology and it all unravells, no?

    ‘Obamanoid’ is definately the word.

  7. Alex Porter says:

    Aside from myself another great Scotsman Adam Smith said: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public”

    Oh no, the most important economist who ever lived and whose ideas underpin economies in the modern period was a conspiracy nut who never did any investigative research..

    And what of five star general and president Eisenhower: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

    Thomas Jefferson: “A private central bank issuing the public currency is a greater menace to the liberties of the people than a standing army.”

    Andrew Jackson: “Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves.”

    James Madison: “History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance.”

    I could go on. Incredible the amount of conspiracy nuts out there, isn’t it?

  8. Pollyanna says:

    I don’t think any government would last long if it did not engage in conspiratorial actions against its citizens. It’s all, ya know, ‘for our own good’.

    Conspiracies are a side effect of political passion, and certainly as many people on the Left as on the Right would still like to know, what DID they do with Kennedy’s brain???

    Calling Marion Delgado’s meticulously researched details of the US-Colombia military alliance “conspiratorial” is a little off-base, though. He’s not claiming he’s uncovered a conspiracy; it’s all right there in the public record. Our tax dollars at work, flag-wavers!

  9. Bob Sam says:

    Even scarier is that these very same dimbulbs are so often the ones who also speak in such cavalier manner about their half-baked plans for “armed militias” that somehow will “take back our country”! Take it back to where and when?

    First of all, they are talking about armed insurrection, not to take back, but, rather, to take away a legally elected government. Aside from the horrific waste of American blood which this task would require, it doesn’t seem very well thought through. So, what happens after this highly unlikely, ill-conceived, self-aggrandizing conceit is actually set into motion and either succeeds or fails?

    If, somehow, a definite minority manages to overthrow the government of this country, who would be in charge? Commandant Steve? Everybody ought to think really hard about that before getting too hopped up about all this childish “play army” talk about militias taking this country back…to where?…

    Secondly, if the half-baked militia schemes fail, doesn’t it seem quite likely that such a destructive act of arrogant self-importance on the part of a minority of citizens would have the effect of triggering and, likely, institutionalizing Marshal Law, destroying Representative Democracy for at least a generation if not forever. Anybody given any thought to any of this?

    So, to those who fantasize about their glory in combat killing their neighbors, I say, “Stick to Paintball!” If you don’t like the way an election turns out — and I have respectfully lived through a number of Administrations I thought were doing irreparable harm to our Republic — just remember, that is why we have elections. If enough of your fellow citizens agree with you, then next time you will elect the persons that you think will do a better job.

    It’s not just The American Way, it’s in The Constitution. Try reading it instead of relying on some angry and/or crazy fat draft-dodger on radio or TV for your source of information, paranoia and inspiration. Thanks. Don’t vote for me. Please.

  10. Bob Sam says:

    By the way, it is a well known fact that JFK’s Brain is living happily in a jar in The Pyramid at the bottom of the Bermuda Triangle where he and his bridge partner Elvis consistently win pretty big.

  11. Alex Porter says:

    Bob, I agree with much of what you say. I have a problem though with what I think is the veneer of electoral choice.

    If you only get to vote for 2 parties which are bought by the same people then essentially you have a one party state and no choice at all..

    And those who have the power behind the throne are engaging in an unconstitutional way. Your country is being robbed blind and your constitution has been trashed. The trashers control the levers of government.

    Your founding fathers tried to guard against this as they knew that this could happen.

    Even if you don’t agree that that is what has happened what would be your position if it did?

    P.S. Seems the article has inwhittingly engendered some intelligent dialogue. Congratulations is in order.

  12. Bob Sam says:

    Alex, there is no question that the Constitution is in tatters and that our choices are limited, usually, to a choice between two guys who seem to be working for the same hierophants. Further, anyone paying close attention over the past 50 years should be painfully aware that the IMF is controlled by a very few people and that Tri-Lateral Commish and all of the LMNOPs that front for the interests of a handful of uber-wealthy individuals and families are just that…. fronts. But over the years since the last Dark Ages, from which we were only barely delivered by the serendipitous appearance of The Bubonic Plague and Johann Gutenberg, we have held on to individual freedoms quite tenuously, gaining a little bit here and a little bit there with a few big gains in the likes of The Magna Carta and The American Revolution.

    Henry Ford, the anti-semite, Nazi-supporting Industrialist gave The Little Guys one of our very biggest breaks when he realized (out of his obsessive greed) that the only way he could sell the millions of his Fords (which his understanding of mass production told him was very possible) was if there were millions of people who could afford his cars. He unilaterally raised the wages of all of his employees exponentially. Industrial Barons cursed him, but it triggered a wave of wage hikes which created a huge middle-class of consumers, which, in turn, created the exponential increase of the world’s wealth in the 20th Century. Ford was to Wealth what Einstein was to Mass Destruction.

    But make no mistake, Ford didn’t think anyone deserved a vote and saw democracy as a nuisance.

    In any election, there is only a hopeful potential that the lesser of two evils will be elected and the cause of true freedom and true equality will, maybe, be advanced an increment or two but even more hopefully will not be turned backward or even lost.

    Every once in a while luck and circumstance will combine to allow a large gain such as the repeal of slavery and the creation of Social Security.

    My point about the insane firestorm that the sore-loser GOP is whipping up is that it will end all of the gains that all of us ordinary Little Guys have made over the course of history if we allow this mindless drift to senseless violence to continue.

    I have no truck with the 19th Century policies of Libertarians, especially their sorely unaware and outdated monetary beliefs. Read some Paul Krugman. Read him over and over until you get it, because that is what the economy of the 21st Century is all about….not some antiquated Gold Standard or Flat tax.

    Sure, there are a lot of things wrong with our Republic and a lot of it is hidden behind the flimsy facade of democracy. But I surely don’t want to see what will replace it should a bunch of ditto-heads take their guns to the streets.

    And, yes, polite discourse is nice.

  13. Alex Porter says:

    I don’t agree with you Bob but you make a lot of interesting points along the way. I think Krugman is dangerous and should have the nobel prize withdrawn on account of his recent ideas of protectionism against China. He is certainly an improvement on the crony capitalists who have been and are currently robbing the US of its capital to the point were civil unrest and the possible break-up of your nation is possible through secession or civil war. (That is how serious I see the problem of what the bankers are doin and I fear that the die is cast and it will be upon you with a few years).

    Naturally, they will use the power of the media that the corporate elite have along with their leverage of government to blame China, racists, terrorists, ‘tea-baggers’, Koreans, Russians, Iranians, Europeans, fundamentalists etc etc.

    Naturally they are going to divide and conquer. I believe that a lot of those proposing violence in these demonstrations are ancien provocateurs there to inflame tribal partisan politics in order to divert the body of the population away from the loss of control over the economy that your government now suffers from. They are simply printing money and your economy is in one hell of a mess.

    The tea-party was embryonic and has been inflitrated by various organisations of that there can be no doubt. However as more foreclosures kick in and people have problems feeding their kids you are going to see a break down in law and order.

    These people feel and sense that coming and are trying to stop it. There will be a major grass-roots rebellion against taxes which will drown the tea-party movement.

    A major systemic change is required in your country and it can no longer happen from the top. That is why violence is inevitable – not hatred, not racism but people who simply want their freedoms back and some food and shelter. They will be attacked and provoked by the state in order to demonise them. This tactic has worked well so far as this entry and some of the points which have been made, I think, demonstrate.

    I think that all Americans should be encouraging demonstration now while it is peaceful and more can be done. Instead of demonising those who demonstrate encourage them because they have that right. By encouraging them you stand as one, not of the same opinion but as a people in a state of tolerance which is surely a value that you can remember as American?

    Make no mistake, your nation is sliding into a dark place and right now popular activism and open eyes is your strength..

  14. Tex Taylor says:

    I could not help but feel as I read this post that a conspirator was writing about conspirators – kind of the takes one to know one.

    The author was able to touch on about every stereotype imagined by the secular Left, then fit it into one big mold of BDS and Darth Cheney.

    But if the author really has proof of Tea Party screaming “nigger” or “faggot”, he ought to cash in on Andrew Breitbart’s offer and help the United Negro College Fund out for the now $100K donation.

    I sense a huge whiff of Leftist lying – and a wager that the wedding party story was highly exaggerated too. Joseph Goebbels would admire, though.

  15. The coarse name calling and spitting by Tea Party members who “took the hill” March 20, 2010 was all over the news for days. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus were called niggers,Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was spat upon and openly gay Rep. Barney Frank was hooted at and called a faggot. Here is a link to one of hundreds of print and broadcast articles with photo.
    Paul Kane’s piece in The Washington Post:

    Do you not have a TV or radio? No conspiracy here, Tex . . . just an old reporter continuing to report on what is easily verifiable out there.

  16. Alex Porter says:

    That may have happened Larry but 1) They are not necessarily representative 2) Could they not be planted in the crowd for the purpose of discrediting the demonstration? That’s an old trick and Obama and Bush have both been caught at that trick already.

    Tex makes some good points. You’ve created a conspiracy theory out of a group of demonstrators. Again, your constitution will save the day here. The motives of demonstrators will always be misrepresented in an attempt to close down opposition.

    Your constitution safeguards demonstrators and everyone who loves your republic should be 100% behind peaceful demonstration whether they agree with it or not. Powerful people will seek to illegitimise opposition and have done it for centuries if not millenia. You have to make allowances for that..

    I really would have enjoyed an article about conspiracy theories if it was an examination of how they should be judged by the reader, what signs of paranoia to look for and where balances should be struck. Unfortuntely your entry seems to throw bricks at the other side.

    Can I suggest that Americans try to find things that unite them and not allow themselves to be divided so easily by the powerful?

  17. Bob Sam says:

    Larry, thanks for the excellent piece. One of the most important truths about all conspiracy theorists is that any and all points with which they disagree can be explained away by more conspiracies. Further, rather than deal with tangibles, conspirationalists (did I just coin a word?) will usually burrow deeper into intangibles.

    Wm. Burroughs argument that language is a virus is more than bolstered by the Conspiracy Strain.

    One thing for certain is that the spreading of spurious memes, illogical conjecture, fantastic extrapolation and downright paranoid fantasy is not healthy for any discourse, civil or not. Thanks again for the fine piece on just those elements in our midst. If I were inclined toward conspiracy, I might suggest that you have actually created some of my other correspondents in this thread to make your excellent points more vivid. Damn! Am I just a figment of a conspiracy myself? Momma! Where is my tin-foil pyramid hat?

  18. marion says:

    Thanks for your kindly mention of my series of factual portrals of the political realities here in Colombia.

    I’m sorry to disappoint however in that I write neither about conspiracies nor do I postulate theories. I do write about the situation that the Colombian people are forced to live in.

    I write about my own life as I also live in Colombia.

    The low intensity war against the Bolivarian Revolutionary country of Venezuela is not a conspiracy by the US military, it is a verifiable matter of US foreign policy.

    I thank you for the adjective “breathless” to describe my posts. I will add it to my resume.


  19. If corporations own our politicians, which I would offer that both Conservatives and Progressives would agree on, then why are Progressives constantly promoting programs that lead to a bigger, more power, more controlling federal government? Do you assume you will be spared the insult of trading your citizenship for servitude? Do you assume the criminals in DC will someday turn on their corporate masters and free you from your burdens? Do you really think so?

    Government works best when it works closest to the people. In MA the people wanted universal healthcare and they have it. Here in Texas I don’t have to pay for that program. But I could move to MA if I wanted those benefits or I could start a movement to create that program in TX. State and local governments need to be empowered at the expense of federal authority. Not only is that logical, its exactly what the Constitution attempted to create.

    I hear the insults and the derisive comments about those of us working to regain some control over our federal government. Many of you are masterful with words and can offend with ease. But what do Progressives offer in place of our marches and movements and misspelled signs? Why of course spell checked blog posts and high minded social philosophy. In the past you helped change the course of a nation. Today you seem more a part of the corruption than a force to change it. You’re like a bunch of old athletes sitting around remembering your glory days in High School. It’s pathetic and sad.

    But don’t assume that if we fail or if you succeed that your new found love partners in DC will spare you. Either you will vow loyalty to their corporate masters or you too will find yourselves in their crosshairs. If you don’t think so, just look at the healthcare bill. Step right up and buy an insurance policy, or else get a visit from the IRS. Now imagine an immigration law that requires you to get approval from a government agency to get a job, or to change jobs, or just to be a fucking old hippy slacker and not have a job. Every federal program from now own will simply separate you farther from your liberties and your freedoms and bind you as a consumer to some corporation. For you guys, I suggest you try to be owned by the Kimberly-Clark corporation. They make Depends adult diapers and your likely to need them. You will be pissing the front of your trousers long before you do anything constructive again.

  20. Alex Porter says:

    The benefit to calling people conspiracy theorists is that you can throw in any of your pet hates.

    Clearly, in this piece there is a conspiracy theory about the GOP. So, I could quite easily write a piece explaining that ‘progressives’ see every demo against the government as full of conspiracists. Then believing that I’ve proved my case go on to lump ‘progressives’ together with Elvis on a UFO believing, NWO fantasising wannabe intellectuals who deep down are just overly sensitive to any criticism of their president.

    That’s all the entry does. The term ‘conspiracy theorist’ in this sense means anything you want it to mean. It’s like when people say ‘that’s a generalisation’ – have you ever had an intelligent conversation with a generalisation?

    Like the post says above, it is obvious that all governments indulge in conspiracy and always have done. To try and deny is nonsenisical and just stupid really.

    Like another poster says that the US govt has interfered in Venezuela goes without question. Look up the fine work written on the subject by investigative journalist Greg Palast. Try this for a starter.

    Get your brain out and start putting 2+2 together instead of making up conspiracy theories about conspiracy theories.

    Talking of conspiracies:

    Caesar: Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
    Casca: Speak, hands, for me! [They stab Caesar.]
    Caesar: Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar! [Dies.]
    Cinna: Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!

  21. Alex Porter says:

    change above: “have you ever had an intelligent conversation with a generalisation?”
    “have you never had an intelligent conversation with a generalisation?”

    I have to agree with extremist. Two things that irritate me about my fellow lefties 1) Usually know nothing about economics 2) Overly sensitive to criticism.

    All your knew health care bill does is create a 30 million new customers for big pharma companies, nursing homes and insurance companies. It is a tax to pay for the deficit which was cause by continued war (under Obama) and banker bail-outs. Big business wrote the legislation. The odd thing is that democrats are really against it and republicans for it because it’s fantastic for big business and loads tax burden on to the people and especially the poorest who will need to borrow to pay for it – oh, back to the banks again.

    And the point about libertarians. How much bigger do you think the US government should get? The problem is that the bigger it gets the more of a target it becomes for corruption by big business.

    Small government is ideal for left politics but like I said the left seldom understand didley squat about economics. Govenment as doubled in size in the USA in the last 10 years and it has just got a lot bigger. Most of your workers now are in the public sector. Are you still a country that believes in a market economy? Cause that’s now gone. The only thing holding up the Dow is bail-out money.

    The left must seriously consider joining with constitutionalists and create some kind of party which joins constitutionalism with a progressive social agenda. That kind of movement will take off and challenge the corporate-owned parties. You have the internet to grow and ‘take the country back’ through the ballot box while that option still exists.

    A party the promises health care for the people and not for corporations, a party that promises to stay out of foreign wars, a party that promises to terminate the Federal Reserve mandate, a party that promises to keep big business from buying Congress and the White House, a party that promises a more equal share of wealth. Such a party would unite many on the left and the right.

    You better join up fast cause the looting of you nation is half-done already.

  22. Larry Ray. To your point about coarse name calling and spitting by Tea Party members . I dont know if it happened. But I couldn’t give a crap less if it did.

    Given the history of Progressives and Anarchists over the last 50 years you somehow expect me to believe that your now offended by coarse language? Or spitting, or angry shouts or heated demonstrations? Put your big boy pants on Larry.

    Its the real world out here and if your that offended by course language or angry demonstrations or spitting then I suggest you get on the bus and go home to disneyland and think your happy fucking thoughts so you can find your happy place.

    This effort is important and I dont care who’s feelings get tweaked along the way. I draw the line at violence. But displays of anger and frustration dont bother me.

  23. Richard says:

    I was going to jump in here but you seem to be doing well all by yurself. Sharp analysis and a clearly stated position. Go on you got them on the run!!!

  24. How about racism, Extremist. Does that offend you? Or is that just part of the “real world”?

    And you’re almost over the line with the personal attacks there, sir. You know that we’re open to — and encourage — discussion from all positions and perspectives. I always let you say your piece. But when you start attacking the person and not the ideas, you’re outta here!

  25. Alex Porter says:

    Behind Richard here,

    Go get ’em Extremist. And you know, the ironic thing is, that it’s guys like you who would be standing up for the rights of the ‘progressives’ to demonstrate.

    I see strengths in both camps. What a shame that so many are divided by the man..

  26. Alex Porter says:

    thorne, put it away. The guy is making sound points and is not indulging in plain personal attacks at all. In fact the only personal attacks I’ve seen is the insinsuations from the author about the commentors.

    Another censor jumps in with all the moral outrage and the word racism. Let me tell you about racism.

    What about all the Pakistani families that Executive Presidential Orders signed by Obama have been killed? Racism is one of the prime motives of Obama’s defining war in Afghanistan. Those tribal, anti-American (oh another conspiracy) Afghans need to believe in the innate superior American way or else.

    Have you any idea how easy it would be for the Dems to stage false flag operations at demonstrations? Have people spit and hurl racist abuse to undermine the demonstration?

    This is why we have to allow anything short of violence because we don’t really know who’s manipulating what.. People should have freedom of speech and so-called protecting rights can’t be used as an excuse to take them away for if they are then these demonstrations will be manipulated. Make no mistake the Republican and Democratic and big business are very much in the business of infiltrating this opposition. And they would love it if they could use ‘progressives’ to close down all opposition out of taking the moral high ground.

    When the totalitarians take over though the first to get it in the neck will be the pious progressives. They won’t like the world they’ve ushered in and the powers that be will have them first in their sights as trouble-makers. And they won’t be able to demonstrate because they joined with the elite to shut down opposition.

    It seems that freedom of speech in here is a luxury for those with whom you agree. That my friends, is a boomerang!

  27. Tex Taylor says:

    The coarse name calling and spitting by Tea Party members who “took the hill” March 20, 2010 was all over the news for days. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus were called niggers,Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was spat upon and openly gay Rep. Barney Frank was hooted at and called a faggot. Here is a link to one of hundreds of print and broadcast articles with photo.

    I believe the word you’re searching for is “accusations” of pejoratives, spitting, the poor, poor boys who were called names, etc…

    Unfortunately, photos don’t make sounds and you’re still fibbing with hearsay of what you want people to believe. If you’ve got the documented proof Larry, be a hero to the progressive Left you espouse and provide it so you can help out the United Negro College Fund. One hundred thousand dollars awaits…

    These accusations of yours, totally unsubstantiated by police and news reporters in attendance about the Tea Party members supposed vile insults, and already proven to be bogus and rank propaganda, call into question your entire post.

    I believe you have real problems with something called truth.

  28. Alex,

    Don’t tell me to put anything away, dude. Unlike many, if not most, sites like ours, we DON’T moderate comments. We allow everyone to post what they think. So don’t accuse us of censorship.

    However, we do have clearly posted guidelines for comments and we will follow them. I have rarely removed a comment — unless it was commercial spam. And NEVER because it took a position with which I disagreed.

    Ask Extremist, who has noted more than once that we consistently let him and others have their say.


  29. Thorne gets props for putting up with me. There is a time for angry yelling and a time for reasoned discourse. At first this tea party movement was an academic exercise for me. Something to do, not something that defined me. But lately, it’s taken on a whole new tone, a new meaning. I find myself becoming more radical in my views and urgent in my efforts to make a difference. Perhaps some of you can relate to that metamorphosis.

    I have learned a few useful and important things during my time reading this blog. But I get the sense that I have outstayed my usefulness, if there ever was any, and certainly my welcome. I doubt any of you are learning anything useful or important from me. This blog seems to be for likeminded folks to share information that reinforces your existing viewpoints. I see very little that challenges Progressive principles published here. There is nothing wrong with that, everyone needs a refuge and this site seems to be that for most of you.

    Talk amongst yourself and if the consensus is that I should share my views elsewhere, I will do so without resentment and grateful for the opportunity to have seen the world a little differently through your articles and comments.

  30. Alex Porter says:

    Sorry Thorne,

    I wasn’t talking about removing posts, simply the threat that you should. It does create a hostile environment for those who disagree..

    I really am a lefty and I don’t see much from the US ‘progressive’ camp that I would consider to actually be much of anything ‘left’ at all.

    Anyway, Tex and Extremist are very eloquent. They show me that rather than be a slave to ideology that I can learn a lot from the right or the libertarians or however we box them in.

    In my thoughts on the subject, I’ve considered the growth of ideological differences between people. I have found that big money has been behind much of the development and dissemination of said ideologies. I suspect that there is a lot more to unite us than divide us and too many ‘political’ thinkers are distracted and divided by ideological purity or what we consider to be that.

    Your blog has many good articles and a bit of rough and tumble should be encouraged. Strong debate should be the objective rather than having a blog where like minded people comfort each other without question. In that sense your attitude against censorship is to be applauded. I would do more and read between the lines before warning participants. Many may have ideas which don’t stack up but which are eloquently put and may unsettle others who are touchy but bright. This process only enightens and toughens us as humans and makes us respect one another. And in there lies an intelligent blog.

    And even considering the old maxim of keeping your enemies closer than your friends..

    I sense that your libertarian contributors like you progressives more than your realise and on ocassion above have almost verged on saying so.

    Perhaps, for a while, we can all think about government for the people and not be divided by the veneer of ideological differences. How much of these differences are real? How much do we know of our own prejudices? How easily are we manipulated by our masters? How easy is it to have an ideological belief system rob us of our homes and food for our families – a matter which unites millions on either side of the so-called divide?

    You are all citizens, listen for a while for what unites you. Give yourselves a chance..

  31. Richard says:

    Hey, don’t go away. I like it when commentors agree with me, you know feel good time. However, I learn nothing from them, the comments I like to see when I open this blog start with, “Richard, you’re full of shit…. ‘Cause frequently I am and it helps my awareness to have that pointed out. Sometimes it seems like Thorne is lying in wait for you, and rarely anyone else…

    So, Mastro, keep teaching, some of us may learn something that we didn’t want to learn…

  32. I enjoyed the article, Larry. Have to say, I think it generated one of the highest numbers of comments in the months I've been reading The Rag Blog.


  33. Richard,

    That's nonsense. I rarely even get involved in the comments. And if I never got on his case, I don't thing Extremist would feel like he's doing his job!

    And I LIKE IT when our articles stir up a storm.

    One thing I'm adamant about though: the battle here should be between ideas, not between those who HAVE the ideas.

    And I

  34. Joel says:

    Excellent perspective, Larry. Thanks again for the historical context. We have some crazies on the Left, but they are far outnumbered by those on the Right, which fuels itself in just the kind of authoritarian certainties that appeal to and nourish these paranoid wackos. It still galls me, though, that Bush, having fraudulently "won" an election, proceeded to completely revamp

  35. Eric Dubay says:

    I wonder what you’d think of my blog which is all about conspiracies:

    Specifically all my posts exposing NASA’s moon landing hoax:

    The Moon Landing Hoax

    Just because you saw it on TV doesn’t mean it was real 😉 Peace

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *