Life in These United States: Use of critical thinking skills = “having a conspiracy theory”

We have … used that computer model about input, process, output, where the process is the thinking about whatever the input, or activating event is. … I remember the first time I talked about this on the show was after the supposed assassination of Osama bin Laden … in 2011 … May … Obama gets up and he gives a speech where he basically says “Yup. We got some actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. We sent this elite group in called Seal Team Six …” that sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie … “and they killed bin Laden.”

Ten minute speech, over a hundred logical fallacies. No evidence presented. They dumped the body in the ocean. And like an hour later people were doing the Pledge of Allegiance at Ground Zero. Not a lot of processing [of] evidence there.

I’ll never forget the day I was listening to Rush Limbaugh and one of his callers – it was a rare caller who was taking issue with something he said – and the caller had the audacity to say, on the air, “Well, I really encourage your listeners to do their own research.” And Rush Limbaugh snapped at him and said “No! My listeners don’t need to do their own research. That’s what I’m for.”
(Bruce Veinotte, January 20, 2014 Podcast #331, Procrastinating NOW! (or soon), Part 2 – Techniques for Less Worry and More Action)

It is rare to come across anyone in this land who can see through something so transparent as the supposed killing of Osama bin Laden back in 2011. No evidence, body dumped in the ocean, no photos, as they are too gruesome (say the people who rush ISIS beheading videos front and center for us). I saw all around me that people were eating it up (the Pledge at Ground Zero inducing “think I’m gonna puke” sensations). And I thought “what the hell is wrong with these people?”

My way of thinking is far more basic – do not go where evidence does not take me. It is called “critical thinking,” otherwise known in this dunce-capped land of ignominy as “having a conspiracy theory.”

Helric Fredou
Helric Fredou
The events around Charlie Hebdo are fraught with similar lapses in credible evidence, the very photos of the supposed Kouachi Brothers are two men wearing hoods! Come on people! At what point do you stop trusting?

There is one event during that affair that might prove a Rosetta Stone to what really happened. Police Chief Helric Fredou supposedly committed suicide hours after the other killings. The story is slipping down the memory hole, as it does not fit the narrative. But for people who actually have critical thinking skills, and even an ounce of natural skepticism, it has to register with a loud thud. Something ain’t right.

JC, over at 4&20 cites the following from Paul Craig Roberts:

Neoconservatives arrayed in their Washington offices are congratulating themselves on their success in using the Charlie Hebdo affair to reunite Europe with Washington’s foreign policy. No more French votes with the Palestinians against the Washington-Israeli position. No more growing European sympathy with the Palestinians. No more growing European opposition to launching new wars in the Middle East. No more calls from the French president to end the sanctions against Russia.

That more or less sums up what I would call a “credible motive.” No doubt Roberts struggled with the word “using” instead of “causing.” And no doubt he knows, as I do, that when he uses the word “neoconservatives,” he includes one who doesn’t mingle with them in public but surely knows them all in private, Barack Obama.

We suffered now fourteen years of Neocons in the White House. I don’t worry too much about that, however, as I know the power of that office to register just barely above zero.
There’s an old Taoist saying: “Those who know don’t say; those that say don’t know.”

22 thoughts on “Life in These United States: Use of critical thinking skills = “having a conspiracy theory”

  1. Here’s some critical thinking skills at work:

    Independent researcher Soraya Sepahpour claims to have new information which confirms CIA involvement in the Paris attack… one of the men responsible for last week’s terrorist attack that killed 12 people in the French capital claimed to have lived with the Nigerian man behind the failed al-Qaeda “underwear bomb” plot five years ago, Yemeni Journalist and researcher Mohammed al-Kibsi who met Said Kouachi, the alleged Paris attacker, said on Monday…

    “So at the end of the day, we have to understand who is gaining by all these alleged attacks,” Ulrich emphasized. People are not being told the truth; they are “told a bunch of lies that are supposedly not connected and somehow when they do get connected we trace it back to the intelligence services, like the CIA.”

    “So we have to be very alert, and do not forget what we read yesterday in order to absorb what we are reading today and connect the dots ourselves,” she warned.

    “I mean many have had doubts about the veracity of the incident in Paris. Many had thought it to be a false flag operation. And now with this new information they are feeding us and tying [it] to the underwear bomber who worked for the CIA, it has virtually established the fact that it was indeed a false flag operation,” Ulrich concluded.

    And here’s The Guardian’s story about the link between the “Underwear Bomber” and the CIA:

    A would-be “underwear bomber” involved in a plot to attack a US-based jet was in fact working as an undercover informer with Saudi intelligence and the CIA, it has emerged.

    The revelation is the latest twist in an increasingly bizarre story about the disruption of an apparent attempt by al-Qaida to strike at a high-profile American target using a sophisticated device hidden in the clothing of an attacker…

    But the news that the individual at the heart of the bomb plot was in fact an informer for US intelligence is likely to raise just as many questions as it answers.

    Citing US and Yemeni officials, Associated Press reported that the unnamed informant was working under cover for the Saudis and the CIA when he was given the bomb, which was of a new non-metallic type aimed at getting past airport security.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Research suggests that in some cases belief in conspiracy theories can actually be psychologically adaptive and beneficial, as the very premise of conspiracies implies a powerful, hidden force at work with some overarching grand design. Conspiracy theorists see a hidden hand behind the world’s major events, including social and political changes. Even though conspiracy theorists claim to want to expose the conspiracy and thwart its goals (such as establishing a New World Order), some take comfort that the world is not merely random — that things happen for a reason. Though conspiracy believers don’t feel in control of the events, they feel that at least someone is (or a small cabal of powerful “someones” are).”-Livescience.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “a powerful, hidden force at work with some overarching grand design” -Swede
        “That perfectly encapsulates what the CIA is.” – JC

        Either that, or we have been spending increasing billions for nothing for a very long time. Is that the non-conspiratorial view? They aren’t hidden and they aren’t a force and they aren’t at work? Nobody is providing over-site and direction? They just take the money and sit on their asses and pretend they are spending it on a plan?

        One problem is that often facts don’t matter.


    1. Sounds suspiciously like David Halberstam, Swede. You really ought to cite your sources. He’s kind of a go-to guy who died many years ago, but seemed in harmony with CIA at the time that the agency was telling its “media assets” to refer to people who did not believe the Warren Commission as “conspiracy theorists.” It is not established that he was a CIA media asset.

      Independent thinking about this critical event has been stigmatized as taboo, a stigma enforced through belittlement, mockery, and obfuscation. Many people as a result, are too intimidated to express the dissenting opinions about the case.

      The effect is a pervasive atmosphere of unreality surrounding postwar American history, a willed decision by most citizens (even some who know better) to live in a fantasy America rather than the far messier place we actually inhabit. The fact that none of the official explanations for all of the major events in modern American history – the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.; the Vietnam War; Watergate; Iran/contra; the Gulf War; 9/11; and the Iraq War – makes sense when the evidence is examined with care should be enough to make even the most trusting American realize he or she is being duped by our own government. (Joseph McBride, Into the Nightmare, p136)

      I cannot emphasize enough, Swede, that your refusal to look at the evidence does not make you a smart person. Quite the opposite.


        1. He sounds so much like Halberstam that I would accuse him of plagiarism.

          When are you ever going to look at evidence, fool? All of this conspiracy nonsense is thought control to make you and all the others do just what you are doing, staying comfortably lodged in groupthink.

          A bell is not a bell until you ring it, a song is not a song until you sing it, and a mind is not a mind until it expresses a thought. I wait.


          1. Actually your conspiracy beliefs are all the evidence that I need.

            Oswald was a commie where your sympathies lie. Same with radical Islam. All ills in the the world are caused by us because of your anti-imperialism slant.


            1. “I’ll never forget the day I was listening to Rush Limbaugh and one of his callers – it was a rare caller who was taking issue with something he said – and the caller had the audacity to say, on the air, “Well, I really encourage your listeners to do their own research.” And Rush Limbaugh snapped at him and said “No! My listeners don’t need to do their own research. That’s what I’m for.”
              (Bruce Veinotte)


  3. “All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.”
    – Marshall McLuhan

    Media budgets are now too big for any average person to keep up with, too big to stop, however vigilant. Having stood on the rubble/remnants of numerous past Empires, I am heartened to know one thing for sure: nothing lasts forever.


  4. I am always impressed with movies wherein men can be cold-blooded killers and normal humans at once. It is not possible. Whatever they might make of a man who murdered 140 people in cold blood, he is not a patriot or a regular guy. He is a monster. It is only your hatred of others that makes it seem right.

    How can it be otherwise?

    Movies are fantasy, Swede, occasionally used to smuggle some truth, usually used to advance Interesting stories, mostly aimed at juvenile minds, and sometimes telling big, big lies.


      1. No, not like that at all. The penalty for incuriosity, Swede, is perpetual ignorance, vacant eyes, slack jaw. And don’t mess with me. You and I both know you never sat through that movie.


          1. Stone did a remarkable job of laying out the evidence as it existed at that time, double and triple-checking every detail. He did not know, could not have known, that the Zapruder film had been altered, its only real shortcoming.

            It was entertaining to boot, excellent casting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s