The Birth of a Conspiracy Theory

Deep Ellum - Conspiracy Bar sign 01Watch LIVE as a conspiracy theory is born (courtesy of Andrew Rosenthal in the op-ed section of the New York Times):

If you spend enough time on the Internet you’ll eventually encounter a conspiracy theory. If you watch closely enough, sometimes you can actually see one being born.

For years now some on the right have speculated that the Obama administration is trying to politicize the national census. Yesterday, Noah Rothman argued on Mediaite that the theory was proven correct by a New York Times article about changes in the way the Census Bureau plans to ask about health insurance coverage.

The idea is that the new questions will show a reduction in the number of uninsured people starting in 2014, which may make it seem as though the Affordable Care Act is working better than it really is. The change in questions will also produce a “break in trend” within the census surveys and thus make it impossible to statistically compare 2013 and 2014 with earlier years.

Therefore, the White House must have ordered this sinister change to promote President Obama’s signature domestic initiative.

But the article that Mr. Rothman cites, by Robert Pear, doesn’t support the theory. Mr. Pear reports that census statisticians had been trying to change the questions about health insurance for more than a decade (in other words, before Mr. Obama was president) because … wait for it … the old questions were not accurate…

[continues at the New York Times]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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11 Comments on "The Birth of a Conspiracy Theory"

  1. Got news for the people that think even if the government is manipulating the results through strategically asked questions will mess up census results. They were not correct before many people I know and my self included simply throw it away when it comes in the mail and laugh at the must fill out or punishable by law threats.

  2. Echar Lailoken | Apr 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm |

    Why is it that everything is a conspiracy these days? What was it like when life was not like this? I am burned out on the word alone.

    • Yea we need a new word.

      • Echar Lailoken | Apr 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm |

        Maybe we need a new/old widely accepted way of perceiving events.

        • I agree, perception is your own reality. Although I must say If so much conspiring is going on im almost feeling left out for not partaking. Because according to mainstream news all us “crazy conspiracy theorists” seem to think everything is conspiracy which irks me to no end in their attempts to discredit and propagandize stuff. I most surely dont think all or even most stuff is a conspiracy but I will be damned if people convince me none are happening.

    • I think it’s a byproduct of knowing the system is broken and not being able to do anything about it. Take 9/11 as an example. It was an epic tragedy so there was inevitably going to be conspiracy theories, but not quite two years after the fact we invade Iraq on pretense of linkage to 9/11 and possession of chemical and nuclear weapons. We pretty much know those were lies and yet, to this day, there’s more focus on 9/11 conspiracies than a totally actionable crime that’s sitting out there for everyone to see. If the evidence is in plain sight then we just ignore it and look in the shadows because at the end of the day we know no one is going to do anything to change things.

      Then there’s the banking conspiracies. The crimes of Wall Street are out there for everyone to see, but since no one is doing anything about that lets all postulate on what those secret Bilderberg meetings are about. Since the dawn of civilization those with more have been writing the rules for those of us with less. The only thing that’s really changed is the marketing. The founding fathers of the USA were like the Wieden + Kennedy of oligarchs. The sold us a story of freedom that we are still buying today. And yet, if you look at history nothing really changes.

      There’s an ebb and flow the the perception of inequity, but it’s generally inversely tied to the ebbs and flow of prosperity. Maybe the information age is letting us all start to see the cracks in the story, but I really don’t think the behavior of any of the actors in the story is really changing. If anything I think they’re struggling to keep up with plugging the cracks in the dyke. Looked at one way they’re madly trying to increase their dominance but looked at another way they madly trying to hold on to their dominance. If it really is the latter then this is the perfect opportunity for us to fortify those things that help us see through the advertising and subvert those things that hinder us. Untimately I think conspiracy theories hinder us.

      The general historic trend has been a slowly improving quality of life for all over a very long period. Even now, I think a lot of the crazy illustrations of inequity we see are more a factor of imaginary wealth spun out of thin air by our overly complicated monetary system. Not that all that imaginary money isn’t a problem, but in the end those at the top are going to have to figure out how to inject it back into the economy or they going to have to eat it in a big economic collapse. Those of us at the bottom generally live off the value of our labor rather than collecting rents from our assets. Maybe if we can figure out how to create our own sustainable peer to peer economies then we’ll eventually free our selves completely from the chains of civilization.

      • Echar Lailoken | Apr 17, 2014 at 6:41 pm |

        Untimately I think conspiracy theories hinder us.

        Agreed, they are a distraction, from my perspective. Like said in Buddhism, if it’s out of your control, why worry?

        Even though conspiracies interest me due the occult nature. I don’t see them as important as others may. I have witnessed some who were destroyed by their obsession with them though. it’s like a thought virus that takes over their mind. Not that all who study conspiracies are fairy led.

        • Thought virus is a great analogy. Also, there has to be a distinction between conspiracy investigation and conspiracy theory. I’m sure that in reality there are probably 2+ actual conspiracies for every conspiracy theory. It’s totally valid to investigate a situation for conspiracies but if no actionable intelligence is turned up then it should be dropped. Not being able to drop it is where the thought virus takes over.

          • Echar Lailoken | Apr 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm |

            Well said again. Thank you, your words have provided some small amount of ease. It bothers me that some people get taken for ride. Those people make me nervous to be honest,

  3. Powerful people get together to do crimes and keep quiet about it. Not only do they keep quiet about their crimes, they also actively engage in propaganda (public relations) in order to actively deceive as many people as they can.
    The people that I am referring to are people in the military, gov and business.
    These are simply the facts of how things work here, right now.
    Some of these powerful people have become aware that some other people are becoming aware of what is happening and are trying to tell others. Naturally, they do not like this because it threatens their positions of power and privilege. So they get their lackeys in the media to ratchet up the propaganda, decrying anyone who dares question the status quo as a delusional “conspiracy theorist.” This technique works great because it acts as a tabu that many people are not willing to cross.

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