Believe Me

I was going to do my next post about President Bush’s new book, Portraits of Courage, or the wonderful new PBS miniseries I watch this week, Africa’s Great Civilizations, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. And I wasn’t even thinking I’d write anything today but then I woke up to the latest craziness from our so-called President and I was like, “Wow! Just, Wow!” watching the reaction of Trump Supporters on Twitter to his reckless and disgusting behavior.

The madness began with a series of tweets from @realdonaldtrump accusing former President Obama of tapping his phone, Trump Towers, and who knows what else.

trump-tweets-wiretap

After making these very serious charges, with no evidence or source cited whatsoever, he then went after Arnold Schwarzenegger; because a petty feud over the future of The Apprentice TV show is apparently every bit as  important as allegations that Obama abused his power.

trump-tweet-arnold-schwarzenegger

Some people, myself included, pointed out the fact that Trump’s baseless accusations are the very definition of McCarthyism, but unfair and unbalanced Sean Hannity was quick to accept the “truth” as the Dear Leader told it, asking the infamous Watergate question:

sean-hannity-wiretap-trump

A wide host of similarly fanatical and uncritical Trump Supporters followed suit. @bradcrain seemed to be convinced that Obama has already been convicted and the “DEMS” just couldn’t handle it.

brad-crain-wiretap

In this up is down version of reality, Trump’s people are the ones showing their true colors. Rude, willfully blind, and childish colors. Honestly, what kind of people read unsubstantiated allegations and say to themselves, “How can I best use a meme to spread this disinformation?” I don’t know but Riya sharma and @chrisk2000 are two more of them:

busted-meme

warrantless-wiretapping-meme

This is the same pool of people who label everyone who disagrees with Trump as a, “liberal” or “communist,” including conservatives like myself, and then laughs at us for being unable to think properly. Truly crazy.

Worst of all are individuals like @BigStick2013, who embellish fake news with their own lies.

bigstick2013-fake-news

I told Mr. Drain The Swamp that there was “NO news” in the article he linked to, and certainly nothing about anything found at Trump Tower or the White House. All the article did was recaps Trump’s tweets and concluded that, “It is not clear what information Trump based his Tweets on.” For daring to point out the truth to BigStick Swamp Drainer, he blocked me.

What is happening here is a very sick manipulation of our already polarized public, designed only to further divide us and do harm to America, and every patriot should condemn it! Instead, disingenuous fools like Buck Sexton (who’s apparently a radio talk show host) are trying to spin this in ever more creative ways.

buck-sexton-silly-wiretap-tweet

  1. Trump did not claim that Obama used FISA (The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) against him. Trump claimed wiretapping of an unspecified nature, carried out by unspecified agents, and told to him by unknown sources.
  2. If the FISA Court was used to tap Trump or any of his people, that would have come from a Justice Department investigation, which would need to make their case to the FISA Judges and show evidence that Trump and/or his team had done something wrong.
  3. There is no universal agreement in the press that Trump conspired with the Kremlin but it has been clearly established by the intelligence community and outside security experts that Russian hackers did try to interfere in our election. Even many of Trump’s key people have admitted this.
  4. There was zero evidence offered from Trump in his very unclear charges.

In short, the items Buck is pretending to equate are not equal. Not even close. Sadly, this is the kind of intellectual sloppiness that passes for logic in far too many public debates and a Yuge reason why we have a President Trump in the first place. I can only hope that we will learn from this and do better in the future.

Let’s get on with the inevitable and appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the allegations against the President and the allegations made by the President. I am confident that his uniquely horrible character will be exposed in the end, Believe Me!

You’re just wrong

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver returned for another season on HBO last Sunday and fans like me will tell you that it’s long overdue. Unfortunately, John is almost exclusively preaching to the choir and I fear that Red State, Middle America (the proud members of, “Trump Country”) will never get the message; nor will they bother to consider it if they happen upon it. Oliver can too easily be dismissed as just another “liberal” (to be said in a disparaging voice) who uses too many off-color jokes and too frequently curses. Granted, these same people managed to talk themselves into overlooking the President’s %^**#-grabbing, foul mouth and horrible behavior, but, as I’ve said before, people can talk themselves into anything. Lord knows that Trump certainly does.

The news and rumors coming out of the White House are disturbing enough – from the needless fear mongering and probably unConsitutional travel ban to the childish berating of Federal Judges and the entire Judiciary to the absurd talk of massive voter fraud on an impossible scale to the increasingly serious allegations of Russian collusion and the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn – but the heart of the matter goes much deeper than this and it is far more troubling. Based on the examples John Oliver gives and others you can easily find, I honestly think that Trump does not believe in truth. I’m not saying that he simply disagrees with me or you about the facts on this or that issue; I’m saying that he doesn’t understand what a fact actually is and he doesn’t care to. When you look to the National Enquirer, Breitbart, and InfoWars as credible sources. When you’ve had compulsive liar Roger Stone working for you. When you compliment the work being done by conspiracy supernut Alex Jones (who thinks Sandy Hook was a, “false flag,” performed by actors) and then you turn around and call nearly every major news outlet, “fake news,” because they’re not friendly to you, you’re a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.

I know some of you voted for Trump because you hated Hillary or wanted a particular type of Supreme Court pick or wanted the repeal of Obamacare or any number of reasons, but I implore you to put that aside for a moment and think about the future of the country you love. Most of the hyperbolic rhetoric out there is ridiculous (e.g. “liberals are communists” and “conservatives are fascists”) but the dangers that the #NeverTrump Movement tried to warn you about are real! You’ve been had by this conman in the White House. I know it hurts to find out you are wrong and it’s much easier to avoid the possibility but facts are stubborn things and this needs to be said in no uncertain terms; you’re just wrong. The Donald does not deserve your support.

There I go again, preaching to the choir. I mean, honestly, is anyone who disagrees with me going to consider what I am saying? Is anyone open to being a convert? I doubt it, and yet I keep soldiering on, “fighting the good fight” (as I keep telling myself). Maybe the problem here is with people, in general, who seem to be driven more by their emotions than reason. Even if this is true, however, it still brings me back to the same point: How do you get through to them when they are wrong?

In more depressing news, yesterday, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Robert De Niro held a press conference to push their anti-vaccination nonsense. These two men of the left, and very vocal Trump critic in De Niro’s case, nevertheless share this irrational belief with the new President, and they are all putting us in greater danger. Kennedy and De Niro have gone so far as to offer $100,000 to anyone who can prove that vaccines are safe. This is like offering to pay for proof that Oswald wasn’t framed or the Holocaust wasn’t faked. You can always deny any proof and dismiss any facts you like if you live under a conspiratorial worldview.

One more thing that further depressed me this week is that I started listening to Michael Lewis’s latest book, The Undoing Project (he also wrote Moneyball and The Big Short). It’s about a couple of Israeli psychologists who spawned the field of Behavior Economics and demonstrated that people are not as rational as they like to believe they are. For example: Take a room full of people and ask everyone to write down the last two digits of his/her phone number. Then have everyone write down their best guess how many African Nations there are in the United Nations. What you will find is that the people with the higher phone numbers will also make higher guesses. Yes, we are that easily manipulated and thrown off by things that are seemingly irrelevant.

Any husker du, I don’t know what the conclusion is to this stream of consciousness. What I do know is that it’s making me think about my own work, refuting conspiracy theories and how I should or should not be going about it. For now, I guess I’ll have to just keep telling people, “You’re just wrong,” and coming off like an arrogant jerk they’re not interested in listening to. :(

Fake History

There has been a good deal of talk lately about fake news and how social media has helped it flourish. Hopefully this will prompt more people to think critically about the bubbles we all live in and the need for thoughtful, fact-checked, and well-edited news outlets. This is not to say that the mainstream media is always correct, or free from bias, of course not, but it is vastly superior to the alt-right, radical leftist, and otherwise conspiratorial “news” on the Internet.

As regular readers already know, I have spent years now arguing against fake history and the danger of its widespread acceptance. My documentary, Conspiracy Theorists Lie (2015), deals with the gateway drug to all modern conspiracy theories, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the overwhelming load of nonsense that surrounds that case. Additionally, I have written on the subject and tried hard to champaign a rational, thoughtful view of history through every means at my disposal.

tellthetruthnov22I recently asked people to help me #TellTheTruthNov22 and turn that sad day into a hopeful one. Please take a few minutes out of your day to do what you can. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use the hashtag #TellTheTruthNov22 to show your support.
  • Invite your friends and enemies to check out my work.
  • Give Conspiracy Theorist Lie a positive review on the Internet Movie Database, Amazon, and indieflix.
  • Contact media outlets, show hosts, and journalist to tell them the truth is worth covering.

There is no shortage of conspiracy nuts out there with large media soapboxes and megaphones from which they can spew their poison. Men like Roger Stone, who even NPR has cited as simply a, “Trump advisor,” rather than a compulsive liar. Help me grow my audience and become the alternative to this garbage. Help me make fake history a thing of the past.