Tag Archives | Conspiracy Theories

Texas Governor Implements Measures Against JADE HELM

Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore (CC)

The latest on Operation JADE HELM conspiracy nuttiness: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, is listening to a certain Austin-based radio host and his fans’ fear of a federal government invasion, according to the Daily Beast:

Texas’s governor moved this week to protect his state from an Obama-led military takeover.

Governor Greg Abbott, who decisively beat Wendy Davis in the 2014 to take Rick Perry’s job, announced on Tuesday that he’s going to sic the Texas Rangers on the U.S. military.

Not really. But it sure sounds that way.

What’s actually going on is U.S. troops are doing training exercises—called Jade Helm 15—in several states throughout the Southwest, including Texas.

The mission will involve Special Operations forces moving through the Southwest and training for covert missions. A declassified map posted online in March (whose legitimacy The Washington Post confirmed) identified several of those states as “hostile” and “leaning hostile.” That isn’t particularly unusual, as Dan Lamothe explained at The Washington Post, but it has a small number of Texans—including, apparently, the governor—totally freaking out and (arguably) overreacting.

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Evil Conspiracies

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John Michell by Richard Adams (CC)

When I was at school the history master warned us about conspiracy theories. These, he said, are adopted by weak-minded people who cannot accept that the stupid, unjust way of the world is a result of normal human confusion, and believe that a sinister group of plotters must be behind it all.

This was the first time I had heard of conspiracy theory, and the master’s warning had the natural effect of attracting me to it. Previously I had read that the non-existence of witches was a rumour put around for their own security by witches themselves, and this dubious information led me to suspect that our teacher was up to the same game. Why should he forbid us to seek out conspiracies unless he himself was involved in one?

Freed at last from the influence of academic opinions I went properly into the subject, beginning with the infamous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a tract that has been held largely responsible for the persecution and murder of Jews in modern Europe.… Read the rest

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Jade Helm, Wal-Mart Underground Tunnels Conspiracy Theory: Footage Inside ‘Closed Walmart’ — What Are Cops Trying To Hide?

More on the JADE HELM 15 military exercises and Wal-Mart conspiracy theories from the Inquisitr:

Conspiracy theory speculations about the sudden “mysterious” closures of at least five Wal-Mart stores in four states where Jade Helm military training exercises are scheduled to start got a boost in the last few days following release of footage purportedly showing police officers guarding loading docks and entrances at a “closed” Wal-Mart under circumstances that many say are suspicious.

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Photo: Spring Dew (CC)

 

Two “exclusive” videos shot by one of the subscribers of the YouTube conspiracy theorist Dahboo777, inside the closed Pico Rivera Walmart supercenter, California, according to some, show an attempt by police guards helping Walmart maintain security to hide sinister goings-on at the closed store.

In the first footage, guards order the person filming to stop and shelves appeared to have been arranged to conceal goings on in an area inside the store.

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Operation Jade Helm 15, Wal-Mart Closures Over ‘Plumbing Issues’ Spark Martial Law Conspiracy Theories

jade helmRemember the recent fuss over Operation Jade Helm? Well now the same "usual suspects" conspiracy theorists are linking it to a spate of closures of Wal-Mart stores due to some vague plumbing issues. The Inquisitr picks up the story:
The right-leaning conspiracy theory blogosphere has come alive once again with conspiracy theory speculations linking recent reports that several Wal-Mart stores have closed across the U.S. with Jade Helm 15 military training exercises scheduled to begin in July in some selected states, including Texas, California, Utah and Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. According to ABC Action News, more than 2,000 Wal-Mart employees nationwide learned on Monday that they were being laid off because their stores were being closed for reasons that WFLA and KSN-TV, both mainstream news sources, admitted were “weird” plumbing issues...
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Boston Bomber’s Family Claims Charges ‘Fabricated by American Special Services’

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Does the statement from Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s family that the charges against him were “all fabricated by the American special services” fall into the “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?” category, or could there be something to their claim that he was set up? The family talks to TIME:

Throughout the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 21-year-old who was convicted last week of bombing the Boston Marathon in 2013, his family resisted the urge to speak out publicly in his defense. Tsarnaev’s defense team had advised them not to grant interviews, they say, as it could risk his chances at trial. But when the jury issued its guilty verdict on April 8, convicting him on 17 counts that could each carry the death penalty, some of his relatives decided to go public with their outrage.

On the evening of April 14, three members of the Tsarnaev family met at a café in the city of Grozny, close to their ancestral home in southern Russia, and told a TIME reporter how the trial had torn their family apart, how helpless they felt against what they see as an American conspiracy against them and, above all, how they still hope to convince Tsarnaev to fire his legal team and seek to overturn the verdict on appeal.

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The Fine Line Between Awareness and Fanaticism

Humphrey King (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Humphrey King (CC BY-SA 2.0)

11:32am – I checked the clock on my microwave twice before sitting down in the desk chair with my morning coffee today. It was still steaming so as I began blowing a gentle stream of cool air into the cup, I hopped on YouTube realizing I had some time to kill before beginning my day.

A good headline should be attention grabbing. It should pop out at you amidst a sea of other unrelated clutter. More often than not, if it doesn’t stand out the first time my eyes glaze over it, I won’t even know I missed it, much less give it a second chance. So I begin to skim — typical Vine compilations, foreign music videos, and news segments of world events fill up most of my screen. Then, something along the lines of, ‘How the CIA manufactured Isis.’ Posted by TheAlexJonesNetwork. ‘Oh geez,’ I think to myself, almost rolling my eyes.… Read the rest

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The Hotly Contested Link Between Science Denial and Conspiracy Theories

Interesting link between denial of science and predilection for conspiracy theories via the Washington Post:

In 2013, the University of Bristol psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and colleagues published two papers containing a provocative claim: A tendency to endorse conspiracy theories, they suggested, makes people more likely to challenge various aspects of science, too. Across the two papers, they linked conspiratorial beliefs to science rejection on no less than five issues: climate change, vaccines, genetically modified organisms, and the ties between HIV and AIDS and smoking and lung cancer.

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Since then, the research has been widely discussed and criticized — particularly the conclusion about climate science rejection — and now, the intensity of the debate seems set to go up yet another notch. The reason is that the journal Psychological Science has just published two papers on the matter: one, a statistical critique of the Lewandowsky papers, and the other a response from Lewandowsky and his co-authors (also discussed in a blog post here).

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U.S. Army’s JADE HELM 15 Exercises Ignite Conspiracy Theories

The Army’s plans to conduct military exercises outside the confines of military bases in Texas has the usual suspects (um, Alex Jones and his InfoWarriors) decrying a military coup, or something like that.

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The Houston Chronicle reports, somewhat more calmly:

Plans for a 17-city Army Special Operations exercise in Texas stirred some ultra-right-wing fears of a government takeover in the Lone Star State, but local law enforcement say they’ve long been aware of the drill.

Operation Jade Helm will bring a coalition of forces, including the Green Berets, SEALS, and special operations commands from the Air Force and Marines to Texas for two months of “realistic military training” in a simulated “hostile” territory between July and September this summer.

Army Special Operation Command spokesman Mark Lastoria said soldiers would practice “emerging concepts in special operations warfare” in Texas.

“Training exercise Jade Helm is going to assist our Special Operations Soldiers in refining the skills needed against an ever changing foreign threat,” he said.

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What I Saw At the Conspiracy Theory Conference

Hey how come we weren’t invited to the Conspiracy Theory Conference? Luckily Jesse Walker went and filed this report for Reason:

“I get the feeling that a lot of philosophers can poke a hole in anything,” Ted Goertzel complained, his voice radiating prickly impatience. The site was the University of Miami, where nearly 50 scholars from institutions across Europe and America had gathered to discuss conspiracy theories in a room named for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Goertzel, a retired Rutgers sociologist, was addressing a panel of philosophers who had indeed just spent an hour poking holes in popular notions about conspiratorial beliefs. One had presented a paper with the cheeky title “Why Do We Believe Conspiracy Theories Exist?”

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Goertzel wasn’t buying it. “I think the reason we think conspiracy theories exist is because they exist,” he declared.

It was neither the first nor the last contentious moment of the conference, which took place on the university’s Coral Gables campus from March 12 to 14.

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The Intellectual Character Of Conspiracy Theorists

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Photo: Damon D’Amato (CC)

Are dogmatic conspiracy theorists simply “bad thinkers”? Quassim Cassam questions their intellectual character at Aeon:

Meet Oliver. Like many of his friends, Oliver thinks he is an expert on 9/11. He spends much of his spare time looking at conspiracist websites and his research has convinced him that the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC, of 11 September 2001 were an inside job. The aircraft impacts and resulting fires couldn’t have caused the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center to collapse. The only viable explanation, he maintains, is that government agents planted explosives in advance. He realises, of course, that the government blames Al-Qaeda for 9/11 but his predictable response is pure Mandy Rice-Davies: they would say that, wouldn’t they?

Polling evidence suggests that Oliver’s views about 9/11 are by no means unusual. Indeed, peculiar theories about all manner of things are now widespread.

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